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Chassis, Framed and Shafted

January 12, 2014

Thankfully the bulk of the work on this chassis was done for me. Done well for that matter. The front end features a Mustang II suspension with rack and pinion steering as well as chevy disc brakes. Pretty much a staple in the street rod world. The only real mod here is that I am swapping the power rack for a manual one. Gotta love hot rod downgrades. As they say, Keep it simple stupid. We will have tha advantage of leverage in the form of a large diameter steering wheel donated by a 1971 Chevy pickup as well as a light weight front end and skinny little tires. The brakes will be unassisted as well with plans for 2 single lightweight aluminum master cylinders ( 1 front, 1 rear ), connected with a balance bar to the pedal which will set my initial brake bias. Fine tuning will be accomplished with a SSBC adjustable valve on the rear line. As my plan comes together I suspect I will need very little rear brake pressure due to the regenerative braking function of the motor. The rear brakes in question are stock issue drums on the Ford 8" rear axle donated by a Mercury Comet circa 1975. No 9" and disc brakes you ask? No. At 180 lb/ft of torque output from the AC-76 I have planned, the 8" should suffice nicely and reduce parasitic losses. As for rear disc, flat No. Not a fan. My opinion is that even without regen, the rea brakes do very little work. If the front brakes are doing their job under a panic stop, the rear wheels should be near airborne. That and the park brakes suck, you are given the choice of over-engineered  calipers or tiny drums in the rotor hats. So plin ol Ford 10" drums for me and a the aformentioned park brake will be actuated by cables speced for a 1996 chevy 1500 at the rear and a front cable and pedal assy donated by the same 1971 Pickup as the steering wheel and column. Simple, effective, off the shelf parts and 90% recycled. Now for the fun part. That AC-76 motor will need an adapter to connect to the Camaro T-5 Transmssion ( more on that later ), but at least it will be an off the shelf piece. The driveshaft to connect the trans to the rea diff is a different ball of wax. As they say though, ( a few of us anyway ), the sun even shines on a dog's ass once in a while. I happened to have a driveshaft leaing against the wall of the shop out of a  1966 mustang leftover fom our 1962 Comet 2 Dr Wagon. As luck yould have it it had a shiny new u-joint that fit the 8"'s yoke. Score. And woud you believe that the slip yoke that came with the T-5 had a u-joint in it that fit the other end of the shaft, foolproof. Almost. It was about 8" too long. So a little inhouse shortening took place. I marked a staight ling lengthwise on the shaft to maintain phase and then carefully cut the tube off the rear u-joint hub. Once the shaft was beaten free of the hub end I ever so carefully chop sawed the necessary 8" off. Then the old man and I achieved a precision fit installing the hub end back in the shaft with a 4lb sledge. The phase line was carefully aligned of course, she was set eyeball straight and I mig welded the joint. Perfect. There she is in the photo in semi gloss black, pretty as can be. Motor adapters and battery boxes to come. 

 

Chris

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