BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Kinda crazy idea?

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Billy Pilgrim

Number of posts : 17
Location : DelMarVa
Registration date : 2015-08-08

Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Billy Pilgrim on Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:42 am

The thing I remember and loved most about my old flat nose was the feeling of the way it handled. Granted it was no slot car, but compared to all of my friends' vans and others that I drove for years after, even with an overloaded front suspension the thing still handled a lot better than the others. So what if...

For one thing, how about an IRS. I know just about anything can be had for the money, but would it be at all possible/plausible to maybe take an old Pontiac IRS and adapt it up, or would it end up being just as much work and money as a complete custom job? I bought my Tundra 'cuz I was tired of getting my kidneys bashed in my old Super Duty. These are important comfort things to old dudes like me.

Also, I haven't been under one in years but how much crazy work would it take to set the engine back even further, to get even better weight distribution. Drop that puppy down and move the batteries to the absolute rear, keep everything up front as light as possible and I'll bet you could build something pretty surprising.

I don't have a project vehicle yet but if I come across something that's not worthy of a restore these are the kinds of crazy ponderings that I have. Also thought about an off road camper but most of the places I wanna go are accessible enough that good road manners and mileage in between would be a lot more valuable, and the heaviest thing I might ever tow would be a bass or flats boat.

Still thinkin' about a small turbo diesel as well. I have a fairly low mileage Isuzu prospect already sitting right out in the yard. Any suggestions?
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RodStRace

Number of posts : 3022
Location : Chino Valley
Registration date : 2010-01-21

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by RodStRace on Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:43 pm

The internet is your friend.
Various suspensions have been done both front and rear.
Moving the engine back requires limited suspension travel to keep the driveshaft within working range OR an IRS.
check or the projects here, check hotrodders forum for a much wider range of suspension swaps, and there is even an IRS forum I just stumbled across
http://irsforum.boardhost.com/
haven't had a chance to check it all out yet.
The HAMB too.
The biggie is the steering needs to go forward and up. Check for that too.
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Digz

Number of posts : 3720
Location : United States Six Lakes MI
Registration date : 2008-05-17

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Digz on Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:09 pm

On the weight distribution: Dropping in a V8 and going with an automatic, my case a 700r4, and a medium built interior put me at a 60/40 bias at 3600 lbs. That isn't bad in my book. Thinking these are nose heavy really isn't accurate. Overall length has more to do with the feel in my opinion.
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Billy Pilgrim

Number of posts : 17
Location : DelMarVa
Registration date : 2015-08-08

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Billy Pilgrim on Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:38 pm

RodStRace wrote:The internet is your friend.
Various suspensions have been done both front and rear.
Moving the engine back requires limited suspension travel to keep the driveshaft within working range OR an IRS.
check or the projects here, check hotrodders forum for a much wider range of suspension swaps, and there is even an IRS forum I just stumbled across
http://irsforum.boardhost.com/
haven't had a chance to check it all out yet.
The HAMB too.
The biggie is the steering needs to go forward and up. Check for that too.

What DID we do before the internet?
Yeah I know, we read books and weeded through catalog racks. Wink

4 wheel independent with H.P. brakes & power R&P can all be had, all it takes is money. Definitely looks like the longer wheelbase would make life simpler.
That IRS site is something else, thanks.
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Billy Pilgrim

Number of posts : 17
Location : DelMarVa
Registration date : 2015-08-08

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Billy Pilgrim on Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:41 pm

Digz wrote:On the weight distribution: Dropping in a V8 and going with an automatic, my case a 700r4, and a medium built interior put me at a 60/40 bias at 3600 lbs. That isn't bad in my book. Thinking these are nose heavy really isn't accurate. Overall length has more to do with the feel in my opinion.

Wasn't calling it "nose heavy", just commenting on the obvious limitations of a 1930's front suspension design. Actually it's got more in common with an old teamster's freight wagon than a modern truck in terms of its front suspension, but it works.

50/50 weight distribution in a lowered mid-engine van with 4-wheel independent suspension and high performance brakes would mess with people's minds, especially somebody following it into a curve.    Smile
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Vantasia

Number of posts : 1371
Location : New Jersey
Age : 63
Registration date : 2013-08-18

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Vantasia on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:24 am

There is a custom build thread with videos here somewhere describing much of what you have dreamed, owner has made complete suspension mods and mover engine back...name escapes me, anyone?
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Twinpilot001

Number of posts : 6186
Location : spokane ,Wa.
Registration date : 2009-09-28

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Twinpilot001 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:02 am

scratch Maybe i just dont understand some ideas or things . We're all into the "Early Vans" idea-- yet some want to question suspension design & "weight Distribution" of these early s. I'd believe they were built like they are = just due to being a basic "Utility" type vehicle-That did & does the job- as was designed. The suspension design was & still is the best for the design as most semi-tractors & still use that spring & axle design. Lasts forever-a testament to that design. To me -its like seat belts, collapsible steering columns, and all the ="Safety" stuff that have developed in the past 40 years.Yes -its all good, protects us & as I see it - if were worried about our "classic Early' vans- get a 2016 Volvo & then worry- about all that stuff. Our earlys have lasted for decades- with a classic design & will last many more decades- without anyones worrying about " weight distribution and "old suspension Designs" scratch affraid Twisted Evil
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Magic Potion

Number of posts : 148
Location : Hastings Nebraska
Age : 57
Registration date : 2015-03-13

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Magic Potion on Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:07 am

I see your point and that's what you like about your van. But the next guy might get excited about upgrades and implementing newer technology. If we all looked at it the same way it would pretty boring. Kind of like once you have seen one van you've seen them all. I really enjoy looking at the different things that people do. And appreciate what they have done even if it is something I wouldn't do myself.
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Twinpilot001

Number of posts : 6186
Location : spokane ,Wa.
Registration date : 2009-09-28

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Twinpilot001 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:04 pm

Very true & i also love some of the mods as we all do. just gets me to talk about redesigning the wheel sometimes!! affraid cheers lol! lol! lol!
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Vantasia

Number of posts : 1371
Location : New Jersey
Age : 63
Registration date : 2013-08-18

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Vantasia on Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:45 pm

I agree with both the previous posters, but tend to lean more towards twins statements. My van rides fine as in, all original suspension with new shocks, loaded with a ton of band gear or empty. The stock six engine pulls it fine as designed and it goes fast enough for me, but everyone is different, if I want to go fast and haul ass, I get in my hemi powered V8 Dodge Ram work truck! But no ideas posted here are ever crazy!,
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Billy Pilgrim

Number of posts : 17
Location : DelMarVa
Registration date : 2015-08-08

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Billy Pilgrim on Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:34 am

Twinpilot001 wrote:scratch   Maybe  i just dont  understand  some ideas or things . We're all into the  "Early Vans" idea-- yet some want to question suspension design & "weight Distribution" of these  early s.  I'd believe they were built  like they are  =  just due to being  a basic "Utility" type vehicle-That did & does the job- as was designed. The suspension design  was & still is the best  for  the design as  most semi-tractors & still use that  spring & axle design. Lasts forever-a testament  to that design. To me -its like seat belts, collapsible steering columns, and all the ="Safety" stuff that  have developed in the past  40 years.Yes -its all good, protects us & as I see it - if were worried about our "classic Early' vans- get a 2016 Volvo &  then worry- about all that stuff. Our earlys  have lasted for decades- with a classic design &  will last many more decades- without anyones worrying about " weight distribution  and "old suspension Designs"  scratch affraid Twisted Evil


That's really the conundrum at the root of it all... to restore or remodel. On the one hand the simplicity of the original design is what ingratiates it in the first place, while some of the more modern appurtenances (like say air conditioning, ABS brakes, or AWD & 4X I/S) may make it easier or safer to drive... but I guess if I really couldn't live without all of that I would be buying that new Volvo, and I wouldn't have been here in the first place  Wink

Seat belts!? We don't need no stinkin' seat belts! Hell my face is only a few feet behind the bumper... I'm dead at anything over 10 mph anyway! That's a big part of the vehicle's charm. And collapsible steering columns are for pussies! I'd much rather be impaled on my steering column than than do a header through the windshield and into a tree. Wink
Actually, I think it might be part of why it's so attractive to guys that have been married a long time... we no longer fear death, we embrace it.  Laughing

I still think it's fun to see and think about what you can do, even though it may not always seem appropriate. My neighbors 50 mpg diesel for example still interests me more than 500 hp in a light duty van, but to each his own. I still appreciate somebody pulling that off... especially if it stops and corners.   Wink

As for the buck board suspension design, don't get so misty eyed... it was marketed that way out of expediency, not the result of some great engineering consortium (that was the Corvair Greenbrier). The Semi analogy is also something of a straw man since we're talking about light duty vans basically being re-purposed as weekend cruisers, not the most cost effective way to haul tons of freight down the road for years to come. Were that the real import I suppose train trucks should be included in the mix. BTW... really big trucks come equipped with a little snazzier seat suspension for a reason (spend a day in a Camelback Mack sometime) and that reason is called kidneys.   Smile

There was nothing particularly offensive or egregious in the design or handling of my old van, quite the contrary, it was my memories of the enjoyment I derived from owning it that led me here. It's a perfectly human thing to always wanna do or build better for most people, although I can see that "good enough" fills the bill for many. That's pretty much the reason imports took over our domestic auto market in the first place. The domestic auto manufacturers, both managers and workers, (especially at Government Motors) were fine with the profits and paychecks that they made off of "good enough". They generally reacted slowly or not at all and only after their market share was impacted. They more often then not missed the mark, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the nostalgic charms of the stuff that they did build.  Smile

I think I mentioned before, the direction of my build is going to depend upon the condition of the project vehicle that I start with. Finding something worthy of restoring being ever harder to do my "what ifs" were simply posited as a restoration alternative. Sorry you find that so unsettling.  Smile
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Billy Pilgrim

Number of posts : 17
Location : DelMarVa
Registration date : 2015-08-08

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Billy Pilgrim on Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:49 am

Vantasia wrote:I agree with both the previous posters, but tend to lean more towards twins statements. My van rides fine as in, all original suspension with new shocks, loaded with a ton of band gear or empty. The stock six engine pulls it fine as designed and it goes fast enough for me, but everyone is different, if I want to go fast and haul ass, I get in my hemi powered V8 Dodge Ram work truck!  But no ideas posted here are ever crazy!,

I had a couple of old Chevy pick-ups that we used to use in our business that I kept around as much for the fun of watching my wife and some of our younger employees getting flummoxed over the "Three on the Tree" as anything else. The old guys with grey hair never had any issues, and my wife could drive a stick just fine, but to this day I don't think she could find second gear on one of them if her life depended on it.   Smile

Speed has kinda lost its appeal as I've gotten older. I used to road race motorcycles back in the day, so if I just wanted to tempt fate and try to slow down time I'd probably just buy myself a crotch rocket (and likely be dead by the morrow). Being more aware of my mortality, and appreciating my much more affordable insurance rates, these days I get more excited by high MPG figures than I do lower ET's, but I still love to look at what other people are doing.
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Billy Pilgrim

Number of posts : 17
Location : DelMarVa
Registration date : 2015-08-08

Re: Kinda crazy idea?

Post by Billy Pilgrim on Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:54 am

Vantasia wrote:There is a custom build thread with videos here somewhere describing much of what you have dreamed, owner has made complete suspension mods and mover engine back...name escapes me, anyone?

To be perfectly honest I don't see most of it being worth the bang for the buck, and I do like the general look and and function of the original equipment, so maybe better brakes, some stiffer bushings, and tighter steering will suffice. I would like to see what they have done though. I'll keep poking around, thanks.  Smile

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