Rear axle to frame clearance? - Chevelle Tech
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Old Feb 24th, 10, 4:26 PM
Matty B Matty B is offline
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Default Rear axle to frame clearance?

Hey, Im measuring on my mocked up frame right now and either I measuring something wrong or it just really is that tight. Right now with a static ride height of 6" at the rocker and the rear axle center line at 13" (half the height of my tire) Im seeing a clearence of about ~3-3.5" from the bottom of the frame rail to the top of the axle tube

This just seems to be WAY too close for a car on the street. Obviously as the frame comes up then I get the added space but at the cost of a higher stance. I thought I did alot of measuring and checking when I was building things but never did I suspect that Id have an issue like this.

I dunno if this is par for the course and with a stiffer suspension it will be just fine. Im a bit pessimistic about this and am in the tough spot of actually having to modify the frame rails to gain space.

I guess Im asking if there are any guys out there with a pretty low car that happen to know the clearance between the axle and frame? I need to take care of this now or Ill be in a really bad spot later on.

Hope you guys can help, thanks.
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Old Feb 24th, 10, 6:40 PM
stealth71 stealth71 is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

I just went out and measured it. The frame in front of the rear wheel is a hair under 6" and I have ~3.75" at the axle tube. This is with 11" tall rear springs and 15+ gallons of fuel. I never feel it bottom out even loaded on the way to Chevellabration. Shock valving will probably make a big difference. This is on my '71. What year?
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Old Feb 24th, 10, 8:23 PM
Matty B Matty B is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

64 with a custom built rear clip that I shouldve added extra height to
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Old Feb 24th, 10, 9:14 PM
Matty B Matty B is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

Do you happen to have a side shot of your car? Im curious to see what 6" off the ground looks like as most are 8"+ and its hard to get a good idea of what a good low stance is set at.
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Old Feb 24th, 10, 11:53 PM
The WidowMaker The WidowMaker is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

3" is enough, any less may not be. im running 6" shocks at 50/50 and im right at 3" as well. thats after cutting though. i gained about 1.5" with a notch. id rather hit a bump stop than bottom out the shock.
Tim
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Old Feb 25th, 10, 7:56 AM
stealth71 stealth71 is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

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Old Feb 25th, 10, 1:25 PM
The WidowMaker The WidowMaker is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

i have 5" at the rear of the door sill, and 4.5" about a foot in front of the tire. it will be raised 1" when i put the 2" larger tires on.

Tim
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Old Feb 25th, 10, 9:53 PM
Matty B Matty B is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

Now this is what kinda screws with me especially with pics for magazines and such. It seems that really low cars end up being on bags and aired out for pics. Im really leaning towards coilovers more because of a cost thing due to some unexpected situations including a really bad injury to my dog that required a hefty bill. I dont already own a compressor or tank or solenoids so its easy to make the decision now to go coilover.

With that said I wont be able to "profile" at a super low height and then drive at a normal one. Im gonna need a useable ride height (and I mean safe to components on a straight level road) at all times. I just havent seen any early Chevelles that sit low on a conventional suspension or even seen what the ride height actually is on most any cars. Normally youll see a pic and then it says 2" dropped springs after it. Obviously that is car by car but seeing a nice low car and getting an actual ride height or seeing a car that looks a bit high and you have a number to go with it then it makes it easy to figure out where you wanna be.

Either way it sounds like Im just as close as the next guy. Im gonna put in a small notch once the rear end is set on links and I can see exactly where itll hit.

BTW my "dream" ride height and too an extent the car its self would be Jeff Skelton's twin turbo 64. Problem is that I know he cant drive it as it sits in the pics he has but itd be awesome if it could.
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Old Feb 26th, 10, 8:30 AM
stealth71 stealth71 is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

Time for a body drop and custom chassis to get that low and driveable without air ride. I guess it also depends on your definition of drivable. I bet the front crossmember is sitting on or very close to the ground there.

Also I think that angle makes it look lower. My picture was from a very low vantage point where this one is from a ladder or something. Maybe I can take a couple pics this weekend and see how they compare by changing camera angle.
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Old Feb 26th, 10, 4:28 PM
Matty B Matty B is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

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Originally Posted by stealth71 View Post
Time for a body drop and custom chassis to get that low and driveable without air ride. I guess it also depends on your definition of drivable. I bet the front crossmember is sitting on or very close to the ground there.

Also I think that angle makes it look lower. My picture was from a very low vantage point where this one is from a ladder or something. Maybe I can take a couple pics this weekend and see how they compare by changing camera angle.
First about camera angle, you have a very valid point although the car I referenced has alot of different pics and sits pretty low in all of em, on the other hand I dont think it would be possible to drive the car like that due to the front wheels although it would be nice.

As far as frames are concerned, I built a full custom rear clip, my error was not adding enough height to the kickups, thankfully they are 2x4 frame rails and I have some room to thin them out about the rail to grab another inch or so.

Ive given great though to possibly lowering the body a bit since I am already planning on redoing the transtunnel and driveshaft tunnel. Im not quite shure what issues Ill run into in the engine compartment though with engine to hood clearance and such. I can probably get a half inch withy a body drop and not cause a massive amount of problems. I havent seen a thread regarding this where it was actually done though.
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Old Feb 26th, 10, 8:20 PM
mp4659 mp4659 is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

if you are only going to do half an inch with a body drop, why not take a page from widowmaker and use half height body bushings....modifying your floor plans, radiator core support, etc. only seems justified if you were going to weld the the rockers level with the body of the frame
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Old Feb 26th, 10, 9:46 PM
Matty B Matty B is offline
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Default Re: Rear axle to frame clearance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mp4659 View Post
if you are only going to do half an inch with a body drop, why not take a page from widowmaker and use half height body bushings....modifying your floor plans, radiator core support, etc. only seems justified if you were going to weld the the rockers level with the body of the frame
I have to modify the tunnel for the trans and for driveshaft and loop clearance so its already gonna be done. As I said I dont really know much about doing body drops of any type. Ill have to search around for someinfo on it. Regardless that could give me some drop without lowering the suspension.

Another question is about just bolting the frame to the body without a bushing at all. Would that get me into trouble or is that still doable without a ton of work? I ask cause with a cage going in the car its gonna be permanently attached to the frame so why not? Only thing I dont wanna deal with is the motor not fitting under the hood but I doubt an inch would cause that much of a problem, then again I dunno since an inch right now is what Im looking for and its gonna require at least 4 hrs of work for it lol.
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