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Just gimme some traction!

Kevin brought his pro-built ’32 Roadster to us to solve a traction issue.

He had the car built a few years back by another shop here in town. When they set up the car they used common street rod parts but set them up at a ride height they were not intended to be used at. The rear was set up with a triangulated four link and Aldan coil overs. Even with sticky slicks, he couldn’t get decent 60′ times due to the tires dancing and skipping around.

We set the car up on the rack and started measuring things and found he had -65% anti-squat! It’s a wonder he could drag race this car at all. We even tried doing a smokey burn out but could barely leave black marks on the pavement. Notice the exhaust getting pinched between the lower bar and the frame.

We discussed our options and Kevin decided to ditch the under car exhaust for a cone/lakes header arrangement and that freed up the under side for our favorite, the torque arm. I crunched some numbers and determined we needed to shorten the rear links and also raise them about 2″ from their original mounts. With the 39″ long fabricated torque arm and new lower mounts (plus a new panhard) we were able to deliver a 138% positive anti-squat!

Kevin took the car out for a test drive and was very pleased at how much more controlled the car felt. The dancing deuce is no more!

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Rat Rod Repair

Jessy came to us with his newest acquisition, a 1927 ish Chrysler sedan. It had made the rounds a bit, something about this car going 127 on the salt and being solid build and not a “rat rod” in the description. Well, I suppose you can say anything in this world but I can assure you this car was not capable of exceeding the posted speed limit on our inter city freeways. Jessy complained about the dreaded “DEATH WOBBLE”  that had suddenly reared it’s ugly head.

I took the car for a drive after measuring and giving the car a once-over. Like hitting a rev limiter at 56 MPH the front end started to shake, not a tank slapper but a wheel dance! Both front wheels started hopping in an alternate leap of joy consequently scaring the crap out of the occupants they are suspending. Not good.

We tried a few tricks but the front end was poorly thought out and worn out. The axle we assume is from an early 60’s Chevy van, the brakes were Volvo?  The leaf spring they chose to use was for a trailer and rated far too stiff for automotive comfort. The shocks while normally acceptable were mounted in such a way they could not control the wayward wheels. You can see someone added a panhard rod to try and tame the issue to no avail. It had to die, we killed it. No other choice.

A face only it's mother might accept
Wes giving the old axle the heave ho!

SoCal forged axle, Bilstein chrome mono-tube shorties and some other choice bits were spec-ed. We trimmed back the frame to give it a more streamline appeal instead of the no-buck and low thought styling it currently had. We tried to use a stock Model A axle, undropped with a set of modified 1935-1940 Ford front wish bones. Because of the mounting point locations and the ride height of the car we had to ditch the idea. Just didn’t look right.

So with consultation of the owner we decided to go with the new So Cal forged dropped axle and upgrade to the Lincoln style drum brakes. Just a few hours of labor and the wave of a magic wand POOF! We had success. A 6″ shorter wheel base, now 115 inches long, slightly wider track width, improved brakes and most of all it actually drove nice.