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Old 02-03-2016, 12:07 PM   #1
Fiftee3
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Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Greetings all!

First off, I am so happy to find this forum. I joined instantly. There is a lot of information here and more in the way of what I am looking for, mainly bagged trucks!

This will be my first post, so I thought I would just dive right in and start a build, or suspension build thread.

About me: Name is Phil, 55 years young, married, live in Somerset County NJ, enjoy hot rodding and always have. I try to do everything myself and not as talented as some/most of you out there Also own a 56 210 Chevy with a ZZ454 BB.

About my truck: It’s a 53 3100 ½ ton. I bought it about 5 years ago and had it shipped here to NJ from Missouri. It came primer gray, kinda beat up, with a 216, 3-speed on column. I got it running and drove it for about a year. Driver’s side block was cracked (common), so I upgraded to a 235. I changed to a T5 trans, front disc brakes, new kingpins, rebuilt rear brakes, made my own wood plank bed, new master cylinder upgrade with bracket, and swapped the bench for a set of Silverado seats with the chest seat belts built in. On the 235, I added Williams headers, Summit Racing HEI distributor, MSD wires, Offy dual manifold, dual weber carbs, and dual exhaust out the back. I painted it myself (first time) flat black. Overall, I have been very pleased. Truck drives good and steers pretty well with minimal bump steer. I should probably leave it, however, as you all know, I need to press on!

So, I have ordered and received a complete bagged MII front end kit from JW Rod Garage (real nice people here), rear parallel 4 link from Paul Horton Welder Series (another super nice vendor), step notch from Paul also and will soon be ordering a Ford 9” with 350’s. My goal is to get close to the running boards, and, still retain the straight 6. From my measurements, I think I am going to have to fab the oil pan. I have read here that when using the JW kit members here have notched the front frame 1 ¾. If I do that, I’ll have issues. If I don’t notch it looks like it will make it, but I don’t know how low I’ll get it. “some help here if anyone can assist”. I also just purchased a new Miller 211 so I am ready to go. I am in no hurry so my posts here may be slow sometimes. I will photo as much as I can as I know it is always beneficial to others.

In closing, again, happy to be here. I am always enjoying the crazy talent that some of you possess and wish you were my neighbors!!! Below are a few pics of how it looks now…
Phil

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Old 02-03-2016, 01:24 PM   #2
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Welcome. that's a nice truck you've got there.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Looks like a GREAT start. I will tag along and watch!!
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I have a JW rod garage front end with shocks & springs. The crossmember welds to the bottom of the frame and the spring hats to the side, so it doesn't give as much ground clearance as some other kits.

Yours may be different.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:48 PM   #5
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

good looking truck ya got there
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Nice truck!!! Your story and plans sound bang on.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:25 PM   #7
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I also have a JW Rod Mustang II bag kit, with power rack. I have not notched mine. I compensated with 2" drop spindles. I called and bother those guys a lot... didn't find center line before I took out the old straight axle. rookie mistake. but live and learn. My advice is test fit and tack oh and measure until your tape is broken before you burn it in. Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:11 AM   #8
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Welcome! Sounds fun, I will tag along.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:21 AM   #9
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Welcome to the group, nice ride...Jim
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Nice choice on the 211 I just bought mine a couple weeks ago.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:11 PM   #11
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Hello all, Its Saturday 2/6/16,

First, thanks for all the kind words.
Today I started taking things apart.
Started with the hood

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Then drained and removed the radiator and removed wiring alond drivers fender and pass headlamp.

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Then, I decided to remove the entire clip. Turned out to be fairly easy.
7 bolts per side along firewall and the two bolts that hold radiator support to the front cross member. took me about an hour and a half.

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Next I will mark centerline and removed old setup. I will level frame on stands and with engine in, see how much clearance I have to new JW Rod Garage cross member. If all is ok, I will remove engine/trans, and start welding.
Project will be moving slowly due to large honey dew list! Till then!

Phil...
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:43 PM   #12
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Cool project, love the 2 tone blue 56!!
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:40 PM   #13
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Today 2/7/16,
So I removed the old front complete axle, shocks, ground off the upper shock mounts and removed them, and removed the steering box.

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Then ground down inner lower frame rails to equal the top rail for test fitment of the JW Rod Garage front cross member.

Passenger side...
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Drivers side...
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I will have to notch out for the steering rack and weld in a half circle...
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Overall, I am happy with the clearance. I have heard some kits hit the oil pan of a 235. I have about 1.5 inches...
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That's all for this weekend. Will post more soon...
Phil
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:36 PM   #14
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I have the "other" JW Rodgarage IFS on mine. 1-3/4" greater track and only 2"+ down from stock height - though if you like them lower, you can use drop spindles as I used standard (not dropped) spindles & coil overs....

No notching, good clearance to the oil pan & I don't have to cut up my fender inners to clear the shock towers.
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Old 02-20-2016, 07:06 PM   #15
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Saturday 20/16

So I have to start of by saying that the talent on this web site is unreal. I actually thought of removing my build as there are so many amazing builds here. The documentation is so good. But, as always, every photo can count and maybe mine will help someone else in the future!

Today I removed the motor and trans. Removed the front/rear spring mounts. Wow! were those rivets hard to knock out. Took a little effort, but I got em! Also cut and ground my boxing plates to fit.

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Old 02-20-2016, 07:10 PM   #16
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I do have a question. Where is the frame considered level from to back, at the point on my frame where the level is sitting?

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because I want to be able to level the cross member front to back as well as side to side...

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Last edited by Fiftee3; 02-20-2016 at 07:11 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:00 PM   #17
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Fiftee3, I would say yes.

The JW Rod garage instructions are a bit unclear. Their instructions step one advise to set the frame with the same rake as vehicle will have when completed.

They say...
Support the car/chassis on four sturdy jackstands. Make sure the chassis is level side-to-side, and is at the fore-aft rake you intend to run the car at.

Then a few steps later they say to have frame level side to side and front to rear.

If someone who has installed JW unit steps in with advice I sure defer to them.

Good progress!


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I do have a question. Where is the frame considered level from to back, at the point on my frame where the level is sitting?

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Old 02-20-2016, 11:00 PM   #18
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Nice truck! How would rate the performance of your motor, set up as it is? I will surely watch your progress.
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:51 AM   #19
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I've never installed a JW rod garage crossmember but I just finished installing a MII and I can't imagine the geometry being that much different. I set my frame front to back at a 2 degree rake, measure just in front of the transmission crossmember.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:25 PM   #20
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Got everything mocked up this week... Moving along, slow, but sure..
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:43 PM   #21
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

welding it all in...
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:45 PM   #22
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I had posted about extra support. some said not needed. I fabbed these for extra upward inertia...
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:38 PM   #23
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

I did the same but used two supports, never can be two safe and cheap insurance.

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I had posted about extra support. some said not needed. I fabbed these for extra upward inertia...
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:52 PM   #24
Fiftee3
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

04/03/16

Slow going here. Trying to finish our master bathroom. Got a little done today. All welding on IFS is done. Mounted front upper shock towers, did some cleanup and grinding. Welded up a few holes, more grinding. A lot of standing around and staring. I seem to do too much of that. I swear, I could stand out there and just stare at the project for a couple hours! I must be out of my mind...
Anyway, front is done. I will have to weld in mounts for the front brake lines still, just don't know where they'll be yet. All painted with POR15. Have to topcoat. Using POR15 top coat spray. I sprayed the upper and lower control arms with it today. Coats like powder coat and can does not clog. I do wipe clean after every use.

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I used a couple of old made in USA wrenches for added support on rear of lower control arm.

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Old 04-03-2016, 07:54 PM   #25
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Re: Fiftee3's suspension & bagging project

Oh, and PS/
Coach, love the Henry build. Have been following along. Great posts!
Phil
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