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Thread: Something different....Using parallel leafs in front.....and back.. 32? Chev.

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  1. #1
    DJ Bill is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Feb 2012
    Car Year, Make, Model: 31-3Chevy RPU

    Something different....Using parallel leafs in front.....and back.. 32? Chev.


    Hey guys, I am still in the drawing pictures and looking for parts stage on my 31-3 Chevy RPU build...I have a chassis that I think is a late 20's early 30's Chevy with torque tube drive and 6 lug wheels, with leafs on each corner. Everything is in decent shape except the solid front axle looks like something off a very light early car, not a solid axle like you would see on a model A. Here's a pic of the end, I doubt I could get any spindles to work there, unless you guys know of something appropriate.
    <a href="http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2464885860037238516WjldzS"><img src="http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/48266/2464885860037238516S600x600Q85.jpg" alt="DSCN2629"></a>

    Pay no attention to the blocks of wood, the frame had been used as a hay wagon for years.....

    Anyhow, any thoughts on the feasability of adding a more modern straight axle from a Chevy pickup or whatever would fit to the existing leafs? I know tradition would be the cross mounted Ford style spring, and it would look cleaner for sure....but.. I don't mind the looks of the setup it has now, just the axle scares me....

    Pictures can be clicked on to get to the webshots album where there are a few more...Drivetrain and as many parts as I can transfer over from my 76 Chevelle 4 dr with a 305 are planned.....at the moment.

    I know it is bucking the trend going this way, but are there any compelling reasons not to go with the setup it has?

  2. #2
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Jul 2003
    Car Year, Make, Model: '67 Ranchero, '57 Chevy, '82 Camaro,

    Not sure you would really want a parallel leaf front end on the car, and for sure I wouldn't suggest using the original leafs after they've been used and abused for so many years......
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
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  3. #3
    ojh is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Aug 2010

    I could see just the first pic and liked what i saw - the frame has some graceful curves that you want to capture and present to folks. The hardpart is doing it right. i have no problem with parallel leaf springs up front but it'll take some sophisticated work to pull it off to make things look right and get the frontend on the ground.
    Rear parallels would depend on how much or little of a bed you plan to have because most popular rpu's beds are too short to accomodate parallel leaf springs because the bed has to be so long it just screws the proportions up. If you are a modern kind of guy i would suggest coilovers for the rear.
    If this is your first build i would put a model 'a' ford front crossmember up front and use all 'off the shelf' stuff and that will make your life so much easier, it'll have the 'look' and all your engineering is done from which spindle to the brakes to the steering etc it'll be just a question of who makes the best of each product and picking out what you need.

  4. #4
    MRTS33's Avatar
    MRTS33 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Sep 2011
    Albany, NY
    Car Year, Make, Model: 33 Pontiac 3 Window Sport Coupe

    Parallel springs front and rear are typical of early Chevrolet. That front axle just doesn't look right to me. I could be wrong though.
    33 Pontiac 3 Window Sport Coupe

  5. #5
    IC2 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Sep 2007
    UPSTATE New York

    There are some nice looking parallel leaf spring cars around and then also just the opposite in that they get real clunky looking in the front, especially if it's a fenderless vehicle.

    Now, my opinion, and with that said, don't back yourself into a corner, especially if this is your first ground up build. Even a traditional car will take some level of fabrication. A non-traditional build - well you can guess that that will entail LOTS more plus a level design skills. Something as simple as getting on the floor to do a bit of work on the underside, now becomes a PITA with that 'claptrap' hanging there.

    OK - got that off my chest - some of the early Plymouth/Dodges (late '20s-early '30s) had an interesting looking front axle with a swoop in the center. Then there is the older Ford pickup for which you can find spindles and decent disc brake systems. Next would be the tried and proven Econoline front axles - also with decent brakes available. Anything non-Ford becomes problematical for parts

    That rear end - I sure do like the coil overs on my '31 as it too unclutters access except I wish I had gone 4 link instead of 4-bar but if you are set on parallel leafs ...... just add a set of bars to prevent spring wind up.

    Do what you want/like - we will offer our comments however way you choose
    Dave W
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  6. #6
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
    Bob Parmenter is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Apr 2001
    Car Year, Make, Model: 32, 40 Fords,

    On second thought...................
    Last edited by Bob Parmenter; 06-25-2012 at 05:55 AM.
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

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  7. #7
    pepi's Avatar
    pepi is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Dec 2006
    Car Year, Make, Model: 34,stroker,32pu,2020 MustangGTpp2

    The problem I see with leaf front springs is they do not present the builder with very many lowering options. Could notch the front and rear to get down, look what this guy didhttp://th.jpeg

    Personnel preference for sure, for me leafs up front just look to busy.
    Attached Images
    I have two brains, one is lost and the other is out looking for it

  8. #8
    lurker mick's Avatar
    lurker mick is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Jul 2005
    west point
    Car Year, Make, Model: 32 Ford roadster pickup & 32 3-window

    Here's another underslung chassis setup under a 27 T I saw at the Colorado GoodGuys. It's a little different than the Dodge that Pepi posted in that the axle is mounted between the frame and the springs so you don't have to use huge diameter wheels to keep the frame off the ground. I thought it looked clean and different.
    IIRC, it used a standard buggy spring on the rear.

    Attached Images

  9. #9
    rspears's Avatar
    rspears is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Sep 2007
    Gardner, KS
    Car Year, Make, Model: '33 HiBoy Coupe, '32 HiBoy Roadster

    Beauty's in the eye of the beholder, and all that, but to my eye parallel leaf's belong on big ol' trucks, Jeep YJ's, and not much else. Even if you're going full fendered the parallel leafs are going to look clunky, to me.
    Enjoy the little things in life, and you may look back one day and realize that they were really the BIG things.

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