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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone, and thanks up front for any comments.

I have a 55 3100 I am bringing back to life. I am going to use the original frame, and I want to run a close to stock ride height. (No C notching, no air bags).I have a Ford 8.8 I want to install. It is the D4 axle code with disc brakes. I will run an inside frame 4 link setup. Can I use this rear end un-narrowed? If so, what is the maximum size wheels and tires I can use?

If not, I know how to narrow this rear end and I have the extra right side axle. If I narrow this, (taking out approx. 2 3/4" from the left side), will I have to modify the frame and tub the bed? I don't want to purchase wheels and tires until I get this figured out.

Thank You.
 

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When I built my 56 I used the stock rearend from a 80 gmc. Bolted right in onto the original springs. Also used the front clip from the gmc and grafted it to the original frame right ahead of the front cab mount.
I too wanted my truck stock height. Used 5 bolt rally wheels all around with 235 75 15 tires. Front tires stuck out a bit more than I liked but deeper backspace rims would have cured that. Not a lot of rims like that 30 years ago but lots around now.
The rear fenders have a lot of room for wider tires. Some guys used wheel tubs inside the box too for bigger tires.
Only thing to really watch for with the 8.8 would be the pinion offset.

what are you going to run for a motor/trans?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like it is 3" more narrow than stock, so I think I am going to lengthen the right side. I plan on using an LS 6.0 with the 4L80 transmission if I can find something I can afford.
 

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Mine got a 305 and turbo 350 at first. Sold it to a tough guy and he drove it home 100 miles in 40 below weather On Xmas eve. That was back in ‘88.
It’s still ticking. Nicer now though.
You got any pics off your double nickel?
 

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I used a stock 1999 Explorer 8.8 on my '39 Chevy build. Rims are U.S. Wheel 15" with 4.5" backspacing. Before you narrow anything, check the measurement on the rear end from rim mounting surface to surface then do the math and see if 1. Tires tuck inside fenders and 2. tires will clear the frame. Don't worry about the driveshaft offset, that's what U-joints do. My unit came stock with 3.73 Trac-Loc.

Finding a 6.0 with a 4L80E will be a bit pricey. Might consider a 5.3/4L60E and just do some upgrades to those two which may come out cheaper and get the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like stock rearend is 62" to wheel mounts. 8.8 is 59". Think I'm gonna get another left axle and lengthen right side. I can weld, but I have a professional buddy that would probably do a better job. This would center the pumpkin, be the correct width, and now I can triangulate and eliminate the panhard bar. That's the plan anyhow. Here are a few pics.
 

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I thought left(drivers) side was the short side. Therefore you would need an extra passenger side axle and find the piece of tube that someone cut out to narrow the passenger side. If you need that piece, I should have it and would ship it to you, just send me the shipping after you get it.
 

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Its a 8.8.
Grab 2 tires with rims for $50 and bolt them up. Then you can drop it down on the floor and see how much you have to work with backspacing and wheel well clearence wise with the suspension compressed.

This also gives you a set of "rollers" to do things such as painting, welding, and transporting.

The mock up tools are "neat". But you can't drop them on the floor like you can a set of rollers. You can compress the suspension with a solid axle and mockup tool by putting floor jacks under both sides of the axle. But that does not let you look at the car to see how the tires look. Being able to see how the tires tuck into those wheel wells will let you easily say you need a inch this way or can go with a slightly larger tire without compromising suspension travel.
A mock up tool just cant do that.
 
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