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Old 11-11-2018, 04:24 PM   #26
The Rocknrod
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Okay we will be waiting -
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:23 AM   #27
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Just after my last post my phone totally died and I couldnt get any of the photos off, until last week a guy told me he could try to get into the memory.
So he did well and got it all backed up.

Started fitting 3" front springs, 2.5" spindles and 245 45 17 front tyres. Took a photo with 1 side done to show the change. Wanted to get an idea of the ride height.

Put the motor back in to give the suspension something to suspend.

Bed wood then no bed wood.

Have to push it out into the big blue shed to work on it for the moment, tight space in the carport.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:21 AM   #28
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Moved the camaro out of the back workshop to make work space for the truck. The camaro is nearly finished and can fit in the carport with still room to walk past it.

Got the truck out the back in its new home for the moment.

some pics of hood damage and rust.
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Old 09-22-2019, 04:45 PM   #29
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Nice, looking forward to seeing you get rid of the crustieeze.
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:50 AM   #30
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Some more pics of rust, everything i expected.
Probably the same old shopping list most people have.
Inner and outer rocker panels, floor outers, cab corners, a pillar bottoms, b pillar bottoms, footwell pieces, fender bottoms, door lower inner and outers.
There should be a rust pack special.

Also a bit in the knee knocker area.

So we have original light green, an off white, light brown, dark green and dark brown.

Another pic of a bit of a mockup with the suspension at ride height and a new wheel/tyre sitting in.
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:26 AM   #31
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

The mock up with the wheel in the front wheel well didnt do it for me.
I need 4" ground clearance to be legal around here and thats what Ive got in that pic.
So getting into it now and pancaking the front suspension.
Came up with a mad idea to take 2" out of the front and 1.5 at the back.
Posted about it in the suspension forum, nobody there came up with any reasons to not do it so i bit the bullet and did it.
Because of the curves everywhere it wasnt a straightforward cut.
The front cut line varies from 2" in the middle at the front to about 1.75 at the outer edges where it mounts.
Overall theres about 5/16" tip back from front to back where it mounts to the frame. This should add about 2.5 degrees of extra castor, which will be negated a bit by the slight nose down stance I'm planning for.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:41 AM   #32
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

That's a neat idea by angle cutting. I never thought of that. I moved the lower control arms forward 3/4".

If you're using the 73+ control arms, you will lose more ground clearance because the a-arms are thicker. My '61 has the crossmember 4" off the ground, but the 73-87 arms hang another half-inch or so below.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:25 PM   #33
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Hi Skinny,
I reckon I spent a good day on the grinder getting everything lined up.
A consistent 1.5 would be easy by comparison. You can measure, mark, cut, weld.
With the angle of the cut and the curves of the crossmember its a lot of back and forth, trial fitting, measure, mark up, grind some more. Ended up with a pretty good file finish for the tig.
My other theory is that the standard suspension has the cross shafts sitting horizontal, as long as the truck is horizontal. If its nose down, bum up a bit, the cross shafts actually have a bit of a negative rake. That cant be good for suspension travel with the lower ball joints trying to actually move forward and upwards.

Ive also moved the cross shafts 1/2" forward, no clearance issues around the pivot area at 1/2", just a bit around the shock body when you get down to the bump stops.

I dont have an option here to drop in to the local parts yard to get later model arms, discs etc. I do plan to build some arms once the truck is actually approved and on the road.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:54 PM   #34
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Angling it back will change the anti-dive built into the suspension geometry (that's why the upper arms are angled back. This will likely increase the effect). I'm not sure how this will affect handling under braking, but I do hope you fill us in when it's on the road.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:11 AM   #35
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Trouble is Ive never driven it so I wont really know if theres been a change.
With all the changes planned I wouldnt be able to pinpoint credit but hopefully its a big improvement overall.
A few pics now of the finished crossmember. From the fill in pieces beside the spring towers you can get an idea of the angle of the mounting.

I also noticed the pigtail pocket in the lower a arm was the lowest point at my ride height. So I cut out the bottom of the spring pocket, removed a bit of the pocket and then re-attached the bottom piece at about 180 degrees rotation. That gets the pigtail bulge out of ground clearance issues.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:31 PM   #36
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Every time I see someone do this it makes me wish I new how to weld
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:26 AM   #37
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

So we trial fit the crossmember at 1" forward, all good. Fit a wheelboard under it to move the chassis around easily to help in getting the cab off.

Then the cab is off and then the rear end is dropped out.

The plan has changed. Long and low was the plan. New plan, Not so long but more low. Chassis is getting marked up for the chop.

Amazed how dogs can find space amongst the chaos just so they can be involved.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:07 PM   #38
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Just found your thread and I also love the 63s.
The double hump dash and the knee knocker shield plus that one-off and most beautiful grill, what's not to like. Looking forward to what you do next and how you do it. Very good work...
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:44 AM   #39
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Great write up! I am working on a "66 and I am looking at done something similar. looks great!
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:43 AM   #40
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Thanks for stopping by guys and positive vibes. Most of what I am doing has been covered before. I might do a few things a bit different. Biggest issue is lack of local parts. So I will make stuff that could be bought if time and expense werent an issue.

These pics are a bit out of sequence just because the bed was cut up and removed before lifting the cab off,
Its getting the old 12 out of the middle, 8 off the back.
So I cut the sides 8 1.4" forward of the tail light panel seam, then unbolted the side from the front panel. So the whole bed is into 4 manageable pieces.
Put all 4 pieces aside for the moment. Its going to need to be built in place once the cab is back on. Planning a kick up in the rear frame so its going to need the floor height raised a similar amount. Future fun and games.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:27 AM   #41
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

This is just a thought I've had for a while now. Since you're down under, in the world of right hand drive. have you thought of a right hand conversion. The 63 double hump dash would simplify it somewhat. Most of the suspension would cross over and I believe that a Holden truck steering box would work.
Anyway, just a thought. Looking great, keep after it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:36 PM   #42
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

My 71 camaro is RHD. It was converted "professionally" back in the early 80s when it was imported here. Ever seen a chevy aircon turned upside down and mounted to the other side of the car? The firewall had bits of gal sheet rivetted over holes.
Dont mention the wiring!!!!!!!!
So I put about 6 months into tidying up the junk and re-doing a whole lot of things. Had to get a new drag link custom made, you dont want to see what was on there.
At least the dashboard was done in a custom molding that was apparently commonly available back in the day so that side of it is ok.

Anyhow this truck doesnt need to be converted, it comes under "classic" rules here so we just drive em around as is. I dont have enough life left to spend any more of it down the rhd rabbit hole.

BTW the double hump dash had me thinking about it for quite some time, but its really the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:04 AM   #43
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

So the chassis has been braced, chopped in half and kicked up 4" in the rear.
While its in 2 pieces its fairly easy to move around so its off to the blasters.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:35 AM   #44
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

So yes that old chestnut, welding 4" rings into the rear suspension crossmember.
Then made up some frames to mount the cab to the rotisserie.
This cab is so big that my poor old rotisserie wont allow it to fully rotate.
The rockers hit the floor and the cab top corners hit the shed roof so i cant go up higher or down lower. But I can get the rocker area up to about chest height which makes all the rust repairs very accessible.
Its amazing, so much rust in the bottom 12" of the cab and then basically nothing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:20 AM   #45
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Back from blasting.
Etch primed all the nice clean bare metal..
Next thing is getting the chassis halves back together.
Spent a few hours grinding, levelling, aligning, clamping, measuring, repeat repeat repeat. Used every clamp I have and a few load ratchet straps.
When I was happy with it, it didnt take very long to get it all welded back together.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:01 AM   #46
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Put the front suspension back together with all new joints, rubbers, shafts etc.
Drilled new locating oles for the bottom shafts at 1/2". At full travel there is no interference and no grinding required.
Hoping this plus the tilt back on the crossmember will give me good castor.
Got the rear assembled with all new joints etc, stitch welded the trailing arms, flipped the rear suspension crossmember.
Rolling chassis is all together but with no springs so I can jack it right up and right down and check for any interference.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:31 AM   #47
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Ok so got the motor and trans sitting in there and auditioning some headers. Long tubes will be out due to the ride height or lack of.
Tried a couple of different shorties, supposed to be for our trucks, but one ran right into the left motor mount, and the other was hitting the chassis on one side and well clear on the other. I dont know what kind of jigs these are made on but theres some variation for sure.
Ended up going with some silver ceramic coated block huggers.
Had to clearance the left side motor mount a little, but otherwise all good.
Was thinking of using the rams horns I have but theyre small outlet ones.
Large outlets are not easy to get around here and they weigh a ton so shipping from the USA is not cost effective.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:47 AM   #48
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Next up we need a transmission crossmember.
In the last pics it was sitting on the original 1963 only park brake system crossmember with a jack under it to stop it collapsing.
So after working out a good height , I used 3 pieces of 1" square 1/8 wall tube stitch welded together.
My theory is I have about 3 times as much steel in the vertical section compared to a simple piece of 3x1". It doesnt flex at all.
Final touch is added the fittings off the old crossmember so the park brake works same as always.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:43 AM   #49
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Does this all need to be engineered to drive on the street? Or can you just be all "hush-hush"?
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:04 PM   #50
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Re: Upside down, back to front, long low 63 fleet

Lots of nice work on this!

Good luck, Rg
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