Sunday, May 8, 2011

Air-Ride Suspension Setup

Here is an overview photo of the new front suspension and steering setup.  The steering box is built by CJR Steering and is a typical steering box that would be used on a NASCAR for a road-course circuit.  It has a 17.5 to 1 ratio which gives it a quicker steering response.  It has a billet aluminum 3/4" drop pitman arm and a billet chromoly steel center link assembly made by SLR.  It is a full roller-bearing steering setup. 
This is an overview of the airbag in it's compressed state.  The airbag suspension setup that I made works well because at ride height it will have standard NASCAR handling capabilities.  At full drop it will have an extreme negative camber, which lets the wheels tip inward, so we will be able to clear large, deep dish wheels inside of our stock fender wells.
 This picture shows what the airbags look like in their inflated state. It also shows the lower boxed control arms that I fabricated to house the airbags and locate the suspension.  I built the arms with the airbag inside the bucket for strength and to hide the airbags when they are completely compressed.  I still have some more gusseting and plating to do here as well.

Frame Modifications

Here is the frame as it sits, almost stock with the exception of a couple of pieces cut off and a temporary transmission mount set in place.We are going to be changing the chassis because the design of it is made to have a roll cage inside of a car or truck go to the furthest outside points of the vehicle and since the truck we are putting it on is a very narrow-cabbed vehicle, we have to cut the chassis and narrow it up to get the fit we want.  We also need to shorten the wheel-base by 6".
Here is the chassis after we slimmed it up and shortened it by 6 inches.  I cut the outer rails off and installed some new 2"x4" .120 wall rectangular tube.  This modification will give the chassis added strength and rigidity.  I still have to plate and gusset all the open ends and intersections.  After the chassis is cleaned up, I will be adding the body mounts.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The chassis we will be using is a Howe Racing NASCAR chassis used by car #22.  This chassis is a boxed 2x4 tube design with chromoly upper and lower a-arms in the front and aluminum truck arms in the rear.  This setup is designed to be extremely adjustable, strong and lightweight. 

Right now I am working on test fitting the truck to the frame.  The chassis setup as it sits right now is too wide in the center for our cab, so we will have to narrow it.  We will update the blog on any further modifications we may need to make to the frame in the future.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Front Brake Setup

Front brake setup includes: Howe large bearing steel spindles, Brembo 13" x 1.25" rotors and Wilwood ultra light billet aluminum 4-piston calipers.  Weight: 54lbs per side.

Our goal horsepower for this project is somewhere in the 700 range, and with an all iron big-block Chevy under the hood some stout brakes are required.  That's why we picked up this beefy but light brake setup.  This setup comes straight off of a cup car.  This is probably the best brake setup available for vehicles without ABS.  With some insane stopping power and significant weight savings up front, I think this will be a valuable addition to our truck.

We will update the blog next week and give you a sneak peek at the rear brakes and front suspension (also from a cup car).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Collecting Parts

As we collect parts for the project, we will try and keep you updated on the parts we are using and what we are using them for.  Here are the parts we have collected so far:

Axel: This is a Sierra Full-Floater HD9 set up with billet 6-piston calipers. It currently has wide-5 hubs that we will be converting to 5-on-5 hubs.  We will also be installing a nodular third member with either a Detroit locker or an aggressive posi unit.

Crank: GM Steel 454 Crank

Rods and Pistons: Pistons are J.E. 4.5" forged. Rods are Scat bushed i-beam rods with 7/16" ARP rod bolts.

Heads: World Racing Products iron Merlin heads.  Port volume 335cc. Combustion chamber volume 116cc. SS Intake valve 2.25. SS exhaust valve 1.88.  These heads have been prepped, ported and polished by Bob Morgan.  The heads will be topped with AFR guide plates, 7/16" ARP rocker studs, 1.7 stainless steel roller rockers and B&B billet stud girdle.  All capped off with fabricated aluminum valve covers and held to the block with an ARP stud kit.

 Fuel Pump: Race Pumps fuel pump.

Oil Filter: System One remote oil filter.

Intake Setup: Polished Weiand rectangular port tunnel ram (will be port matched to the heads). Topped with dual 600 Holly carburetors.  Due for a fresh polish.

Transmission Components: B&M Turbo 400 trick-shift 2000 stall converter.  Polished aluminum pan.

Brake Master Cylinder

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to the Baddest Blog Build on the Block

The Idea:
Take a completely original 1951 Chevy farm truck from Oregon, previously used as daily driver, and transform it into a Street Rod unlike the typical cookie cutter custom; No prefabbed rolling chassis, No standard 350 Small Block, No Mustang II bolt-on suspension.  This Street Rod will be Built not Bought.

The Builder/Fabricator:
My name is Brandon Matthews.  I am 26 years old and I have been surrounded by high horsepower engines and muscle cars my entire life.  Nothing makes me happier than creating something from nothing. 

This project will be my interpretation of what a Street Rod truck should be and will be my canvas to show what I am capable of creating. 

This is our shop dog Bently.

The Shop
A 4000 square foot warehouse located in North Las Vegas that is rapidly being filled with second hand tools (no Snap-On trucks here).  I have everything I need to get a project like this finished: you name it, I have it.

The Process
We will be updating this blog with pictures and posts through each step of the build.  We would love to hear your comments - just keep them positive ;).