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Tube axle on a T bucket


Well-Known Member
I have a T bucket I built from scratch 25 years ago and the problem I am having with the steering is still there. I've played with the caster, toe in, etc. The camber is set with the welded axle (a couple of degrees tilted out on the top of the tires).
While driving along,the car will wander from left to right. Wavy roads don't help! It is a pain in the neck.
The car has a home built tube axle with 1952 Ford spindles, hairpins, spring behind the axle and 1966 Impala steering box.
I know I made an error when I mounted the spindles as I put them on the axle backwards so the drag link is behind the axle instead of in front. I was told years ago that should make no difference unless you are making a tight turn.
Any thoughts on the wandering?
The drag link i suppose to be behind. I think the tires are suppose to be tilted in on the top not out and 1/8 toe in is the mark we all seem to shoot for. If any one out there has a CCR front axel diagram post it for NeshKoro so he can see the geometery. Post a pic or two will help us help you and also WELCOME to the forum. These guys know more about these cars than any site on the net. Glad to have you aboard.
One thing that I would be very suspect of is the homemade axle. Another is the caster setting, you should have between 5 - 7 degrees of caster.

Clarification of terminology... the rod that ties the left steering arm to the right steering arm is called the "tie rod," amazingly enough. The "drag link" is the rod that connects the Pittman arm on the steering box to the upper steering arm ("wishbone") on the left spindle (on left-hand drive cars).

If your steering arms were properly set up for "front steer," with the tie rod ahead of the axle, then swapping them to the rear will change your "Ackerman" angle. Some folks say it doesn't make a noticable difference on our light cars... others claim they can notice a difference. Standing in front of a front wheel and looking straght down from above the king pin, is the tie rod connecting hole on the steering arm closer to the center of the car than the king pin, or further away? If it is closer, your steering arms are set up for rear steer. If it is further away, they are set up for front steer.

Did you check the tightness of all components of the steering system? How much play in the steering wheel? Steering box mounting bolts tight? Pittman arm tight? King pins tight? All Heim joints or tie-rod ends tight? Do you have a front panhard bar? How long are the spring hangers/shackles? At what angle do they sit at rest?

Pictures of your set-up would be very helpful.
Welcome to the site. The top of your front tires should be out slightly. You state that you have '52 spindles. What are they Ford, Chev or ? It's hard to troule shoot your set up without pictures. I'm sure with a little more info wee can give you a good idea whats wrong here.

I would think he means pickup spindles? Never saw any car ones used for that application.

I too would be suspicious of the homemade front end. I think after 25 years of not being able to enjoy your rod to the fullest it is time to spend some bucks and buy a quality complete front end setup and toss the old one to the curb. Two things will take the fun out of driving your car.............ill handling and overheating. That is why I spend some money on suspension components and a good radiator.

Post up some pictures of the front end from all angles. Hard to tell what you have without seeing it. I think 25 years of suffering should come to an end.:lol::)

The spindles are in fact 1952 Ford passenger car. Once I reread my post I realized that I make an error in describing the front end. The tie rod is in front of the axle. It was designed for the tie rod to be in back of the axle. That is how it was set up on the 1952 Ford. When I built the car it was easier to put the tie rod in front due to clearance problems. I'll try to increase the caster angle to see if that helps.
1952 Fords didn't have a straight axle, they were independent. Now you really have me wondering what you have there.:eek: I think you have more going on here than caster angle. We REALLY need pictures though.

The spindles are from a 1952 Ford. The rest of the axle is home made tube with the king pin bosses welded to the tube ends.
Sounds like a one of a kind.

In 1949 Ford went to the independent front end but they did have king pins.So he could be right.
So it looks like he has built a straight axle to accomodate those spindles. Interesting. Still would love to see lots of pix.

Before anyone goes off the deep end about the spindles from an independent front end not being able to be used on a straight axle, they can in fact be used if the design of the spindle is compatible. Here is a Pinto spindle that has been converted to that type of configuration:


I don't recall how a '52 Ford spindle looks, but it might be an interesting item.

Just an opinion.
Google Fatman fabrications thats where i bought my dropped spindles for my '50 ford.They truly are a strange brew.
The question I have is what are you running for tires? Do you happen to be running radials up front and bias in the rear this can cause some tracking problems also.
I would also like to see pic of this set up. True the shoebox fords used king pins but the cleves' part of the assembly was on the A arms, not on the spindle. Could it be this axle resembles a T axle?


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