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  #1  
Old 03-21-2014, 07:28 AM
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Default Narrowing control arms

My '53 Chevy 3100 has been on the road since "08, but I have never been happy with the suspension. I used a 1980 C10 (1/2 ton Chevy truck) front suspension because it fit the frame and I figured I could do something to get the tires under the fenders. The tires always have rubbed on the fenders.
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File Type: jpg 1 pre driver's side.jpg (93.8 KB, 39 views)
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2014, 07:41 AM
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Default Narrowing control arms

I have attempted to solve the problem in a couple ways that didn't work, so now I'm shortening the control arms.

I have replaced the 2" drop spindles with stock spindles which will allow the front to drop and get the control arms almost level with the ground and eliminate the bump steer. That moves the tires even farther out which means more rubbing.

I made a model of the suspension and determined that shortening the control arms 1" would have very little effect on the geometry and about 4% change in the force the springs provide. It should also solve the interference problem.

Checking out the parts I will need to remove some metal from the outside of the spring pocket and shorten the tie rod end since there isn't 1" space inside the adjustment sleeve.
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File Type: jpg 3 upper on truck.jpg (52.4 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg 4 lower on truck.jpg (58.9 KB, 87 views)
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:47 AM
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I set up a simple fixture so I could measure and realign. I want to keep the same angles and center line and just move the ball joint in 1".

The lower control arms are 1" thick.

I could see I would need to remove the bump stop. Using a 5/16 pilot point drill, the spot welds were drill out.
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File Type: jpg 5 fixture (800x600) (2).jpg (63.9 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg 6 remove bump stop (800x580).jpg (53.9 KB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg 6.5 measure angle (800x564).jpg (62.5 KB, 100 views)
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:58 AM
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The lay out. Blue tape is the 1" to be removed.

Cut it with a .035 cut off wheel and finished the corners with an air saw.
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File Type: jpg 7 layout (800x586).jpg (46.9 KB, 90 views)
File Type: jpg 8 cut (599x800).jpg (200.4 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg 9 air saw finish cuts (600x800).jpg (210.3 KB, 93 views)
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:06 AM
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The angle is set where it was before it was cut and tacked in place.

Then welded top an bottom. The edges were beveled and the .035 gap was left to achieve a full penetration weld.

About 2 hours later the welds are ground, blended and painted.
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File Type: jpg 9 set angle tack (800x599).jpg (50.5 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg 10 weld (800x593).jpg (196.9 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg 11 finish bottom (800x588).jpg (42.7 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg 12 finish top (800x567).jpg (43.6 KB, 106 views)
File Type: jpg 13 ready to install (800x600).jpg (54.1 KB, 104 views)
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:15 AM
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Next up was the upper control arms. These have a lot more contour making the layout less straight forward.

Again with a simple fixture. This time the ball joint mount was leveled; a plate bolted to the shaft and clamped to an angle plate kept everything in place.

The layout was more of an eyeball. It was cut the same way as the lower.

Keeping the center line, the 1" dimension and tight on the spacer to maintain the angles, it was tacked in place.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20 upper fixture (599x800).jpg (52.3 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg 21 layout (800x599).jpg (52.3 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg 22 cut (600x800).jpg (213.2 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg 23 position tack (800x599).jpg (56.6 KB, 89 views)
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2014, 08:19 AM
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There was a lot of goofing to get the profiles to line up. I pie cut the edge and bumped it in with a hammer and welded it up.

Then with lots more grinding, blending and some paint it is ready to to bolt the ball joint back on and install
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 24 align edge (800x539).jpg (52.1 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg 26 finish bottom (600x800).jpg (49.6 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 27 finish top (600x800).jpg (218.8 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 27.1 ready to install (600x800).jpg (46.1 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 27.2 ready top view (600x800).jpg (54.4 KB, 71 views)
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2014, 08:25 AM
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I cut about 1/2" off the treads of the tie rod end.

The upper bump stop needed to be cut off and ground to the shape of the stock one.

The lower pretty much just bolted on. These are Energy Suspension bump stops that I got at the parts store.

I ground some clearance in the spring pocket for the spindle.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 28 cut tie rod end (600x800).jpg (62.1 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 40 upper bump stop (800x600).jpg (62.2 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg 41 lower bump stop (800x600).jpg (199.7 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg 42 spring pocket clearance (800x600).jpg (51.2 KB, 82 views)
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2014, 08:26 AM
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Nice job
I need to do the same to my 66 Chevy pickup.
Thanks, you're presenting a nice tutorial too.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2014, 08:32 AM
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Maybe I should mention that I have replaced the front springs with air bags a while back. I never really liked the airbags on this truck.

So before I took the front end part I put the stock springs in and drove it a bit. It sat too high and was too stiff. Looking in my pile of parts I found the front springs from the '84 Mustang (F2stang). They were in size close to the C10 springs: Wire .025 smaller, OD .250 smaller, same number of free coils , and 1" shorter. The Mustang is the one with the rubber stuff on it.

They put the ride height right where I wanted it and gave just a bit smoother ride. And they were free!
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File Type: jpg 30 springs (800x607).jpg (69.3 KB, 41 views)
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