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Old 04-18-2014, 03:45 PM   #641
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey 1031 --- Good to know there's another Skoolie nearby. Used to fly out of Brookshire but it's been a while. And being a diesel virgin...I will gladly take all the help, advice, experience, expertise, guidance, etc. I can find. Be glad to buy you a cold one (your son too if he's old enough) and chat. And roger the "sick" thing. I've been down with the creeping crud for a couple of weeks now. Just doesn't want to go away and it seems everyone I know has it. Just let me know when you are feeling better. I'll Email you my phone.

BTW, I think I just found the rear axle I need. A Dana 80HD dually from a one-ton '98 Chevy 3500. Wrong gearing, but that can be corrected without too much ha$$le...I hope. Going to re-check the measurements this weekend. Lots to get done. Hopefully most of it before I'm too old to drive the danged thing.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:31 PM   #642
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Tango, glad you may have found an axle. How close is the match to your original springs and what are your thoughts on wheels? Jack
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:44 PM   #643
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Howdy Jack --- I'm going to re-measure everything this weekend but the mounts appear to be pretty close. As I recall, mine are at 40" and the Dana appears to be about 40-1/2. Might be able to just add to what is there rather than removing & re-positioning. We'll see.

As for wheels, I'm keeping the 20" antiques that came with my bus. Would love to find a full set of the same sized tubeless rims from ton-and-a-half Chevy trucks from 1956-1959 but they are harder to track down than Bigfoot. The new rear axle does have the same lug pattern & size (10 lugs on a 7-1/4" circle) as my originals but the center of my old rims will need to be bored out a quarter inch to fit (they are center-piloted). That will mean making adapter/spacers for the front to keep them all the same but that should be no biggie (famous last words).

And, naturally, since the most common ratio in the world on the Dana 80's is 4.63 (and almost perfect), the one I found has 5.13 gearing. Almost identical to the '46 original and WAY too low. So it looks like I now have to find & install something higher. I'll go with a 4.30 set if I can find it. That will put my sweetspot of 1800 rpm right about 69mph.

And yes...many times I have asked myself WHY didn't I just buy a newer unit that already has all that neat stuff. Only having to build out the interior, I just might be done by now. But what can I say...it was love at first sight so "reasoning" went right out the window.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:00 PM   #644
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

I thought the tranny builders were going to set the tranny to find the sweet spot in the final gear? That way you werent going to need a different ring/pinion. Did I miss something?
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:30 PM   #645
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Howdy Opus --- The Allison 6-speed comes with 4th gear at 1:1...5th gear is about .75 ...and 6th gear is at .63. Can't change any of that. You might be thinking of the "five-speeds" that get converted to 6 speeds. That calls for re-programming to allow engaging the final drive gear that is built in but not used, but it still winds up at whatever ratio the cut gearing happens to be.

Hitting the sweet spot calls for calculating the final drive ratio & tire diameter to match whatever rpm you want at a given speed. There is a really handy online calculator here...

http://www.csgnetwork.com/multirpmcalc.html

Actually, I'm told by old time Cummins guys that a 4BT is happy anywhere between 1700 & 1800 on level ground and makes really good mpg.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:22 PM   #646
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

No, i wasn't thinking about the 5 speed, I must have read too fast way back in the beginning. I've been talking to some guys here about this recently. Questions asked have been how about a 2 speed axle? Then they asked how about something like a C 50 asked axle? I said you were trying to keep it stock.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:39 PM   #647
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Given how stout the original rear ends were made, I looked for one of the "optional" 5.43 R&P sets Chevy offered for over two years but finally gave up. That ratio would work OK with the Allison but I've yet to find anyone, anywhere who has ever actually seen one. Sure would have made for a heck of a lot less work than the route I am going now, but sometimes you just gotta' move on. At least this way I get big a$$ disk brakes in the bargain.

Another funny thing is...the new "one-ton" rear axle is rated quite a bit higher than the early 1.5 tons. Go figger.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:54 PM   #648
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Nat --- I'll be running stock 5 x 20's starting out. If I can locate the '56-59 rims I'll go with tubeless but I'm not holding my breath. I want to keep the 36" height that looks right but will consider other options.

And while I would love air suspension, it is not in the budget so far.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:33 AM   #649
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Nat ---at least part of the reasoning for going with the Dana 80 is that my stock wheels only need the center hole bored a quarter inch to fit. The lug pattern is exactly the same (10 lugs on a 7-1/4" circle). I'll make adapters so the bored out rims will fit the front.

And yep, original tire height is about 36". Tube tires that fit the 5 x 20 rims are still pretty easy to come by at big rig tire shops. My fantasy is still to find 6-8 of the '56-'59 Chevy truck rims. They are the same size but configured for tubeless which means I could run radials instead of cross-ply only. But I figure worse case, what the heck...the whole world ran on bias tube tires for a whole lot of years, so can I.

Love the custom "web" rims! Just can't decide who's ride they belong on...Spiderman...or, Elvira...Mistress of the Dark.

There are wheel shops these days that can fab just about anything that can be imagined. Some pretty impressive stuff out there.
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:27 PM   #650
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

I'm with Tango...go for it!! I love seeing other people spend money.
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