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Thread: 1950 chevy truck hot rod, old issues looking for ideas
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    tcodi's Avatar
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    1950 chevy truck hot rod, old issues looking for ideas

     



    So I built a 50 truck hot rod about 15 years ago and got invaluable help from this site as I didn't have anyone to teach me this stuff. I was in my early 20's at the time, single, no kids and had all the time in the world and no money.
    Now I have 2 kids, married, late 30's, zero time and plenty of money. Basically the exact opposite situation.
    My issues with my hot rod are that it looks awesome and handles like a boat.
    I put a TCI independent front suspension on it with a tri 4 link rear.
    Over the years I upgraded the front sway bar from I think 5/8 to 1", and I added a rear sway bar as well. It helped a lot but I'm still not happy with it.
    I feel like I've maxed out the sway bars because the suspension is stiff as hell and the ride is hard, so I don't know what to do.
    To add to the handling distress I have a bench seat in it, which I like because I wanted to maintain the old school look, but when you take a corner I feel like I have to reach my right arm over and hold onto the upper bench frame to keep my body from sliding side to side. I love the look of the bench seats but that aspect is annoying.
    I just don't know what to do to improve the handling, and I totally understand it is a 1950 body and there's no way it's going to handle like a modern vehicle, but I feel like there has to be something I can do.
    I'm located in south east pennsylvania and I am willing to pay a reputable person to do work as well being that I just know I can't possibly devote the time that I did in the past with a 3 and 5 year old, however I would prefer to do it myself being that I have over 2000 hours of work in this truck and the only thing I farmed out was upholstering the seat.
    any suggestions would be appreciated
    53 Chevy5 likes this.

  2. #2
    shine's Avatar
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    have the seat redone with a sculpture set in it . more like a bucket . cheaper than redoing the suspension .

  3. #3
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    What would I do? I would either do a complete frame swap or front and rear clip swaps. These have become so popular that there are companies who manufacture all the mounts and supports that you would normally have to figure out and make yourself, such as this company.....
    EZ- Chassis Swaps

    Just type..... 1950 Chevy pickup truck frame swap.....into google and read what all is available.

    As far as the seat, re-upholster it in suede and you won't slip and slide on it, or follow shine's offering.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Nwtv7hzLg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dGeAuJ2a7Y

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdgYy5YtW8k

    And here is why you will want to do the work yourself, because there is no work ethic in this country anymore......
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My15wkgk_Gw

    Here's a source for swapping in a Chevy V8 (I'd use an LS motor with all the EFI and electronics for a smooth-running, powerful truck). Plan on using an in-tank fuel pump to make life easier.
    https://jagsthatrun.com/collections/...evy-s10-trucks

    Another frame swap that could work out well is the Jaguar XJ6, IFS and IRS, disc brakes, Chevy lug pattern. Use the V8 conversion manual from Jags That Run for swapping in an LS motor.
    https://jagsthatrun.com/collections/...manuals/jaguar
    .
    Last edited by techinspector1; 02-04-2018 at 11:41 AM.
    PLANET EARTH, INSANE ASYLUM FOR THE UNIVERSE.

  4. #4
    53 Chevy5's Avatar
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    I'll be watching this one as well. It sounds like you have the identical pickup and suspension and seat sliding problem that I do although I have lap belts so I don't slide too far.I don't have my rear sway installed yet and I'm sure that's going to help me out some though but I hope it's enough. I learned that there is a slower ratio rack than I have and I may swap that also just to slow down the touchieness in the steering. Like tech said, i think a full frame swap would probably be best but that's not an option for me anymore.
    Seth

    God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. C.S.Lewis

  5. #5
    53 Chevy5's Avatar
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    I checked out EZ chassis when I was looking at a 47 panel truck awhile back. I called them and they seemed very helpful and knowledgeable.
    Seth

    God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. C.S.Lewis

  6. #6
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    A full frame swap sounds expensive and a lot of work on something that seems to have a decent set up already. Do you have coil springs in the front, or coil overs? Do you know what your spring rates are? You could also switch over to air ride too. Those new ridetech shock waves are sweet!
    Ryan
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  7. #7
    tcodi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40FordDeluxe View Post
    A full frame swap sounds expensive and a lot of work on something that seems to have a decent set up already. Do you have coil springs in the front, or coil overs? Do you know what your spring rates are? You could also switch over to air ride too. Those new ridetech shock waves are sweet!
    Yeah my thinking is kind of in line with this^
    I went to a lot of trouble to remove all the leaf spring junk and fab up independent front and 4 link rear, plus I don't really have the garage situation for doing a frame swap. I'm already tight in there and frame swap would pretty much mean 2 full bays devoted to this for months.
    My rear sway bar did help quite a bit, maybe I should upgrade that one heavier too, it is fairly light, I don't remember exactly what I used now but probably 5/8 or so.
    Up front is coil overs, I do not know the spring rates, I just know they were sized for an iron big block and I practically ruined a spring compressor with the force it took to get them in place. I've never been so nervous in my life as when I had those things squeezed down, I was worried my head was going to be taken off.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
    As far as the seat, re-upholster it in suede and you won't slip and slide on it, or follow shine's offering.
    Thanks for the suggestions tech.
    The suede sounds like a good start.
    A frame swap would be awesome, but it's just not realistic for me space wise and time wise. Maybe I should just consider bumping up the sway bars yet again and the hell with ride quality, it's already hard anyhow.
    I just don't understand why it rolls so bad, I think maybe it's because the frame is really narrow up front on these trucks, the rails angle in from the firewall, so maybe the suspension is just so close the weight of the motor has too much leverage to roll.

  9. #9
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    Maybe could stiffen the sway bars and go to softer coil springs to maintain some semblance of a decent ride when you are not cornering.
    Steve

  10. #10
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    50 lbs in a spring rate is a lot when talking roll . look for more spring rate in the front ans see if you can lower the rear an inch or so . ass high will make the front dive when turning . your throwing all the weight to one corner and overriding the spring .

  11. #11
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    Ride is stiff, air bags would let you dial it in. A better seatbelt would hold your position during lateral G forces.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

  12. #12
    tcodi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebird77clone View Post
    Ride is stiff, air bags would let you dial it in. A better seatbelt would hold your position during lateral G forces.
    I do have a modern seat belt with the lap part and shoulder belt too, but it's nothing like a car seat with the sides and kind of hug you in place.

    I'm really liking the air bag idea, sort of always wanted to have those.
    I have coil overs in the rear on my tri 4 link, and coil overs in front too on an independent, so I feel like it wouldn't even be that tough of a job.
    Any suggestions of companies that supply those to swap out?
    It'd be nice to get a 'kit' that would have a compressor and controller and all.
    I feel like squeezing a compressor in there would be the toughest part as a big block in that compartment is ultra tight.

  13. #13
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    Stick the compressor under the bed. Next to the frame will keep it safe.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebird77clone View Post
    Stick the compressor under the bed. Next to the frame will keep it safe.
    oh ok, I just assumed they had to be belt driven off the crank due to power demand, but I guess you are saying they don't draw so much amperage and you can run them off the alternator?
    That's kind of nice in my case actually because I barely have any room at all

  15. #15
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    your about to spend a buttload of money for little improvement. you need room for the pump and reserve tank which i doubt you'll have under the truck. in the bed is your only option . if you have 4 corner coil overs there's no reason you can not dial in the ride.

    this is why i always prefer the camaro clip over the mll style front ends. the ride is nice and handling is good . on a personal note i refuse to install those cross members anymore. in the last 10 years or so i have replaced 4 due to fatigue cracking. they are made from thin sheet metal and tend to crack out at the lower control arms.
    Last edited by shine; 02-07-2018 at 09:09 AM.

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