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Old 11-23-2018, 02:07 PM   #1
Jason 56
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My 56 build

Hi everyone, Iím new to the forum . I bought a 56 step side in August. I bought the truck for the body which is in good shape. The mechanics of the truck was another story. I believe the person who brought it to this point wasnít very mechanically inclined, but have excellent bodywork skills. I bought it with a 350 and 700R4. I had to drive 9 hours one way to buy it and contemplatied what to do with it all the way home. I ended up junking the old frame and started over with new steel. Put an ifs with rack and pinion and 4 link rear end. After months of tinkering I nearly have a rolling chassis. On to the remainding bodywork which I donít particularly care for, but Iím ok at it. Just looking for others working on the same style truck to bounce ideas off!
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:23 PM   #2
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

Tear down and start of frame
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:32 PM   #3
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

More frame construction... not sure if thereís anything I can do to rotate the pictures. Sorry
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:39 PM   #4
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

This is the hacked up frame I discarded. I later found some lawn mower blades welded on for support
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:46 PM   #5
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

Initial test fit of the body after mocking up new frame. At this point everything was just tacked in place. I ended up cutting the ifs off 3 times before I got it right. Checking to make sure when are centered in wells and ride height. It was a guessing game until this point.
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:54 PM   #6
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

My 3rd time removing the ifs. I finish welded the front end after this try. Felt I finally had it right and needed it finished for engine and trans mock up.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:07 PM   #7
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

Took it apart again... this time to finish weld everything. Motor mount, trans cross member, 4 link, body mounts, and additional crossmembers. Didnít finish the rear cross member because I donít have my gas tank yet. Thinking I should gusset the center cross member with a 45 degree bracket from the bottom of the frame to the center of the cross member to prevent the frame from twisting in the center. Any thoughts?? The two cross members in the center are mounted at the top of the frame for drive shaft clearance. Not planning for more than 400 hp. This is gonna be a driver, not a garage queen
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:57 AM   #8
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Re: My 56 build

Your sideways pic have to do with the direction you are holding your camera while taking the pics. It took me awhile to figure it out myself.
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:07 PM   #9
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Re: My 56 build

I see youíre using some Pro-touring spindles. Have you gave any thoughts to brakes yet? I have some myself, havenít decided on anything yet.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:09 PM   #10
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Re: My 56 build

My neck's hurting
nice start
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: My 56 build

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Originally Posted by NorCalGal View Post
Your sideways pic have to do with the direction you are holding your camera while taking the pics. It took me awhile to figure it out myself.
Yep You can EDIT those photos so they are upright though with little effort. It seems to happen a lot when guys use photos off a phone rather than a camera.

First time I ever saw a later truck frame section cobbled onto a stock TF frame as a subframe job. I agree with you that that is a mess but not as big of one as another TF truck on here that they notched out the stock frame to clear the uprights on the crossmember.


Actually your old frame wouldn't have been all that bad if they had overlapped the frame splice about ten inches rather than just three or four.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:11 PM   #12
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

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I see youíre using some Pro-touring spindles. Have you gave any thoughts to brakes yet? I have some myself, havenít decided on anything yet.
The front end is a helix kit that came with all the brakes
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:18 PM   #13
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

Received my shocks the other day and made the brackets for them. Also made a support bracket for the mustang ll front end to prevent damage under hard braking. Got my pictures rotated correctly so no more sore necks!! Sorry
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: My 56 build

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The front end is a helix kit that came with all the brakes
Mine are actually Helix spindles also. I was thinking of doing something a little different than the normal Granada/GM caliper setup.
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:09 PM   #15
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

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Mine are actually Helix spindles also. I was thinking of doing something a little different than the normal Granada/GM caliper setup.
Let me know what you do... I may be interested in the same setup!
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:41 AM   #16
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Re: My 56 build

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Let me know what you do... I may be interested in the same setup!
Hey Jason, I too drove many hours (NW Indiana to SE Georgia) to get my 56 stepside. I favor these body styles, so the drive was part of the enjoyment. Any questions you might have that I can help with, fire away. I assume you did all this work before our midwest weather crapped out?? lol Great job you've done. My one regret is I didn't C notch my back end.
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:44 PM   #17
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Re: My 56 build

ah man, just when I got my monitor mounted sideways it all changes, haha
good you got that pic thing figured out.
looking good.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:53 AM   #18
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

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Originally Posted by my56chevytruck View Post
Hey Jason, I too drove many hours (NW Indiana to SE Georgia) to get my 56 stepside. I favor these body styles, so the drive was part of the enjoyment. Any questions you might have that I can help with, fire away. I assume you did all this work before our midwest weather crapped out?? lol Great job you've done. My one regret is I didn't C notch my back end.
Thatís funny you mentioned your only regret begging a lack of c notch. Iíve been contemplating redoing my rear frame section to accommodate that. Iíd also have to redo my triangulated 4 link as I donít have enough driveshaft clearance at that cross member. Iíd have put a driveshaft loop in that cross member and reconfigure upper link angles. One thing stopping me is I donít want to have to raise the bed in the box either. Been taking a poll of my friends about what to do
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:29 AM   #19
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Re: My 56 build

if you decide to do a small notch and keep the bed height you will need at least 3" above the axle and then you really should install some of those beehive style suspension snubbers over the axle so you have lots of cushion effect there. the ones used on the S10 rear suspension bolt up through the middle so you could use something like that. there is also the timbren system in the link

https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Sus.../TGMRSB4S.html

if you check ogres thread he has a small notch above the axle in the stock frame.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:32 AM   #20
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Re: My 56 build

if you were to notch above the axle you should look at how the spring/shock mounts there because less frame height may be a factor for frame bending under load. mounting ahead of the notch would be better for that but would interfere with the 4 link
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:16 AM   #21
Jason 56
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Re: My 56 build

So here are my thoughts and questions if anyone can help? I would like to reduce the rake by 2 inches from where I am. I just checked and I will have enough driveshaft clearance. I thought about c- notching the frame I made, but it would only leave me with 2Ē of frame.?( see first picture) when I built the frame I cut the lower rear axle belly out of the 2x6 then cut 2 side plates and capped top and bottom to recreate the original hump. If I cut the notch I wonít have any strength left. (I believe). Being a 4 link with coil shocks, all the weight is carried behind the notch. This could go bad as dsraven mentioned. Then thereís the shocks. I would like to keep the bed the original depth. Looking at a few other builds and now seeing my box on the frame I realize I have some more room.
Iím going to cut off some of the side plates and redo the rear of the frame. ( pictures 2 ). Thinking I can make the notch large enough to accommodate shocks and build a cross member to mount them. Thinking of welding a heavy 1/4Ē 2x2 on the top of the frame for strength then cover it with the notching plate. ( my neighbor has a CNC plasma table which makes this much easier) This will leave me with 3Ē of travel. Picture 4 is how it sits now and the last picture is what Iím shooting for.
One of my many questions is this will change my drivetrain and anti-dive angle to about 4-5 degrees. Will that shock angle be too much? Is this gonna be ok? Any input on this idea wi be appreciated!
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:22 AM   #22
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Re: My 56 build

now that you have the front suspension in, the rake angle change is going to affect the front end geometry. you would want the lower control arms to be level, side to side and fore to aft, at ride height. hopefully that is where it is now. you could get around this, partially, with different drop spindles to effect the drop of the front end and keep the control arms level side to side. the problem comes when you change the rake angle of the frame the suspension is hung from. you automatically change the fore to aft angle of the lower control arm pivot shaft when you do this. like said, you may change the anti dive as well. some research required.
if you decide to go ahead I suggest to mock it up and see what the angles will be and if you can live with it. worst case scenario you could cut and remount the cross member to be correct. tons of work. you could also sell the frame you fabbed and start over.
for the notch you could simply lop the section of frame off behind the cross member ahead of the wheels somewhere, then fab a c notch section from rectangular tubing and weld it in. it may look and operate better than the alternative. you could then mount the shocks nice and neat with less weight from gussets and plates etc. see the link for an idea Scott's uses. really, if you wanna keep the stock box floor, you don't really gain much except possibly some dental work if the suspension bottoms out, which is likely. maybe private message ogre, he has the stock frame with a small c notch and is driving for a few miles now. he would have a good idea as to the number of times you may need new dental work. he is using leaf springs but has minimal suspension travel back there.

the other link is for brackets and such for a pretty good price. Canadian dollars so the USD goes pretty far. I know your buddy is cheap as well though, maybe get some ideas while looking. the last is just a quick google search on terminology for ifs and how things relate

http://www.scottshotrods.com/1955-59...truck-chassis/

https://welderseries.com/?_vsrefdom=...SAAEgKb9fD_BwE

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/inde...nt-suspension/
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:36 AM   #23
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Re: My 56 build

Here's what Ogre did on his 58. He has a build page here, if you want to look. I like this idea, since the 54-59 trucks have very little kick over the rear axle. I may do something like this on my 54.

On the Anti-Dive thing... I don't think it'll be an issue. I did some calculating, dropping your rear 2" on a 116" wheelbase, comes up with less than 1 degree of difference. Here's a good explanation of Anti Dive. http://performancetrends.com/Definitions/Anti-Dive.htm
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:25 AM   #24
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Re: My 56 build

I have done something similar on a 57 frame in the past. there is still 3" of frame left above the notch. thinking back, if I was going to do it again, I would lop off the frame ahead of the axle and fab a whole new rear section. boxing the frame ahead of the notch as well. actually, if I were to do it again, I would do what you have done and start over with new rectangular tubing. most guys cut cross members and fab new stuff here and there anyway so, why not. I have often thought, while checking some builds, that by the time guys cut the front end off and weld in a different front clip from some other old car, then cut the rear off to install an aftermarket or home made c notch, then boxed the rest of the frame, the only part of the frame they actually re-used is the center section under the cab. they might as well have spent the time on building a frame jig and built their own. that way the old car front clip could be properly installed to a frame made the correct width and height to match the "new" clip and the rear section could be made to match the suspension and frame width required back there.
just my thoughts though.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:55 PM   #25
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Re: My 56 build

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I have done something similar on a 57 frame in the past. there is still 3" of frame left above the notch. thinking back, if I was going to do it again, I would lop off the frame ahead of the axle and fab a whole new rear section. boxing the frame ahead of the notch as well. actually, if I were to do it again, I would do what you have done and start over with new rectangular tubing. most guys cut cross members and fab new stuff here and there anyway so, why not. I have often thought, while checking some builds, that by the time guys cut the front end off and weld in a different front clip from some other old car, then cut the rear off to install an aftermarket or home made c notch, then boxed the rest of the frame, the only part of the frame they actually re-used is the center section under the cab. they might as well have spent the time on building a frame jig and built their own. that way the old car front clip could be properly installed to a frame made the correct width and height to match the "new" clip and the rear section could be made to match the suspension and frame width required back there.
just my thoughts though.

When I was trimming my frame rails for the MII crossmember, I was thinking, "Boy, some smooth frame rails would be nice..."

For the reasons you just stated, is why I've never thought the chassis swaps with late model trucks were viable. By the by the time the chassis is lengthened or shortened, chopped and C notched, crossmembers added or removed, not to mention what it takes to mount the body to the frame...

Anyhow... starting with a chassis made for your truck seems to be a whole lot better option. Even starting with some 2x6 tubing and doing yourself seems to be a much better alternative.

OK, I'm off my high horse now.

Chris
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