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sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

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Old 07-19-2016, 02:21 PM   #1
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sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

working on a super low budget, decided to see if i could narrow my weak 26-spline, 7.5" rear. went to the junkyard and bought some old 26-spline, s-10 axles. and the project began.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

this is why i'm doing this. tires sticking out too much for the liking.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:29 PM   #3
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

another shot of them sticking out. i had already cut the bumpstops, etc.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

measured and decicided on cutting 3 3/4" out of each side.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:36 PM   #5
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

deburred and ground the edges down for a slip fit and decent weld.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

measured everything a million times, tacked and welded it up using a cheap harbor freight tig inverter welder. i thought it worked real nice for the money.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:44 PM   #7
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

gave her a pertty hammer tone paint job, lol.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:46 PM   #8
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

changed the axle seals but thought the bearings looked fine for this experiment.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:48 PM   #9
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

upon some further measurements, it looks like i'll be able to keep the factory tank and fill.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

because i'll be making/using some homemade coil overs, lol.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #11
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

made some bracing today to hold the rear of the car up while i cut and re-fabricate things. also took the tank out just so it doesnt go "BOOM!"
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:55 PM   #12
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i guess my next step will be figuring out the control arm mounts, then shock and sway bar mounts?
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:58 PM   #13
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i imagine the tubbing of the wheel wells last? but thanks for looking. i'll post progress pics as i go.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:07 PM   #14
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Looks pretty good! Next time add some plug welds where you welded the diff. They add a lot of extra strength for very little work.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:27 PM   #15
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

I'm not going to say yes or no about anything. The welds look great from an inexpensive TIG. I love seeing someone having a plan and jumping right in and doing it. Too many "How do I do this", "How can this be done" etc posts from people who really shouldn't be attempting the things they're asking.

My only concern about your project is straightness of the tubes. I don't see a diff jig anywhere in the pictures nor do I see an alignment bar going through the tubes. All that welding, as straight as you try, will always cause the tubes to warp slightly. An alignment bar is a solid bar usually 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" thick and some aluminum pucks which replace the bearings and bolt the bar in place. Some locks at both ends of the bar holds everything tight.

When I narrowed my 9", it was a lot simpler. I cut the ends off the tubes, cut the tubes to the length I wanted then welded the ends back on. I made a rough alignment tube to go through the diff after welding everything back up and found the tubes weren't straight. I had also welded on a back brace, coil over shock mounts and 4-link brackets. I used a 50 ton press at work to tweak the tubes as straight as I could get them. Haven't had a failed bearing yet and the axles slide nicely into the splines of the spool.

After I narrowed my diff, I ordered the axles I wanted to the length required. As nice as those S10 axles may be, they're still very weak. Not all S10 axles are the same length. I hope you remember what year truck those came from. You can probably order aftermarket replacement axles which will be much stronger than OEM ones and if you change the posi to 28 spline, upgrade to 28 spline axles as well.
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:26 PM   #16
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i appreciate the honest input. i looked into one of those bars and it was $500! i took a million measurements and strategically tacked and welded in a certain order. i was surprised how close it came out.

they were 84 s-10 axles. i had done a lil research first and moser does offer some replacement axles. all-in-all, this was an experiment and my first time narrowing a rear.

still much work to do, but i'm happy so far.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:02 PM   #17
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

should be a fun experiment , later when you want to run it im sure they will want the c-clip eliminators installed.

Ive had axles walk on on these 10bolts in 100% stock form with a drum rear. that's another spot the stock 9 bolt was better.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:15 AM   #18
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Rear disk brakes will act as good axle retention devices. If the end of the axle snaps off and a c-clip is lost, the caliper over the rotor will keep the axle from falling out.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:35 AM   #19
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

I'm guessing that's not the first time you ever tig welded if that's how your welds came out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlkyIROC View Post
I'm not going to say yes or no about anything. The welds look great from an inexpensive TIG. I love seeing someone having a plan and jumping right in and doing it. Too many "How do I do this", "How can this be done" etc posts from people who really shouldn't be attempting the things they're asking.
I can't tell you how many times around here I've started answering something and went to "you really shouldn't be attempting this if you're asking this question..."

Quote:
My only concern about your project is straightness of the tubes. I don't see a diff jig anywhere in the pictures nor do I see an alignment bar going through the tubes. All that welding, as straight as you try, will always cause the tubes to warp slightly. An alignment bar is a solid bar usually 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" thick and some aluminum pucks which replace the bearings and bolt the bar in place. Some locks at both ends of the bar holds everything tight.
Yea, if there's enough heat in those welds to have good penetration then those tubes bent. I honestly don't know how you would check them (even sighting down the tube isn't going to really tell you) without some sort of jig.

A big press is one way to straighten it, an easier way is to use a torch with a rosebud tip on it, you can heat the "long" side and then let it cool and it will shrink some.

Quote:
After I narrowed my diff, I ordered the axles I wanted to the length required. As nice as those S10 axles may be, they're still very weak. Not all S10 axles are the same length. I hope you remember what year truck those came from. You can probably order aftermarket replacement axles which will be much stronger than OEM ones and if you change the posi to 28 spline, upgrade to 28 spline axles as well.
The problem with this is that you still have a 7.5" ten bolt when you're done. a hard launch on those slicks will still break something eventually. If this was a show car this would make sense, but trying to make this thing live will turn it into a money pit.

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Rear disk brakes will act as good axle retention devices. If the end of the axle snaps off and a c-clip is lost, the caliper over the rotor will keep the axle from falling out.
Been there, done that at over 100mph... that tire locked up and I was in for a hairy ride... I guess it was much better than the tire leaving the car and going for a similar ride...
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:48 PM   #20
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

good job, but wouldn't it have been easier to just get wheels with more backspacing?
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:12 PM   #21
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Looking at the large tires he's using and the rims they're mounted on, I'd say they already have a lot of backspacing. Adding more would have the center of the rim pushed outward even more. It would start to look something like a corvette rim.

My tubbed out car has 15" wide rims. With my narrowed diff, a backspace of 5.5" works well but I still have enough room between the tire and the frame rails to use 6.5" if I really had to. The deep dish has a much nicer look with slicks. Another advantage is the shorter axles. Although not impossible, it's easier to twist a long axle than it is a shorter axles of the same diameter.

Question about the TIG inverter. Did you do all those welds with 110v or 220v? Looking at the heat penetration on the tubes, I'm going to guess 220v.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:55 PM   #22
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

yes, i'm using 220 on a double throw 30 amp breaker with 100' of hard wire so i can reach pretty far away. i've been a welder for 25 years. just thought this was a nice machine for $200. its scratch start but can stick weld too obviously.

running deeper dish rims would still have needed suspension and tub work. these rims are 5.5" backspacing. and i was wondering if shorter axles might be stronger?
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:02 PM   #23
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

not much progress to report. disassembled a few things like nitrous bracket, wires, seats, harness', etc. just getting stuff out of the way. made a few cuts for the control arm mounts. gotta start cutting somewhere, lol.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:28 PM   #24
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

eager to see how you fab up those lca mounts.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:13 PM   #25
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlkyIROC View Post
Rear disk brakes will act as good axle retention devices. If the end of the axle snaps off and a c-clip is lost, the caliper over the rotor will keep the axle from falling out.
hope hes converting it to disk the ends are drum ends. either way if tech found out I dont think it wouldn't pass
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:10 PM   #26
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

yea, i shoulda started out with a 28-spline disk brake rear. but, this is what i had laying around to work with. luckily there is basically no tech at the 1/8 mile i've been to. my car is kinda slow too, only ran a best of 8.3 at 83mph so far.

started throughing this together earlier for the control arm mounts.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:43 AM   #27
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Axle retention isn't mandatory until you run 10.99 in the 1/4 or 6.99 in the 1/8. Since you're only running 8.3, you have a long way to go until it's necessary to have it but having something you don't need never hurts.

You could put a full cage in your car but don't really need it.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:24 PM   #28
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

I'm going to follow this thread very eagerly. I will convert to a 8.8 in a way that's pretty similar to how you did your narrow job. Cut tubes and weld in other tubes. I was planning on cutting them myself and finding a good place in phoenix to do the weld and straightening or just the straightening. I had read a couple threads across the internet where it was done without jigs and the results after useage were either not posted or excessive bearing wear. Very interested in you results over the next year!
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:06 PM   #29
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i did put a homemade cage in it already. on 4 spots, i drilled holes through the floor so i could weld directly to the SFC's, then welded a plate over them. i doubt its up to any "tech". just doing kind of a pro street type build.
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Last edited by redneckjoe; 07-23-2016 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:25 PM   #30
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i didnt get much done today. taking my time. but the car does have hareness', fire extinguisher, etc. a few safety items, lol.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:22 PM   #31
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

It that doesn't have a halo bar and A-pillar tubes, it's only a fancy roll bar and not a full cage. Those door bars won't allow you to run quicker than 11.49 in the 1/4 anyway. They don't pass between the shoulder and elbow so it's not even a legal roll bar.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:11 AM   #32
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i agree 100% with you. i may add on to it at a later date? i forget why i put the bars low? i think i was trying to keep the stock door pulls or something? anyway, just showing where its at. i'll try to get back on topic next post.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:36 PM   #33
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

spent some time working on the mounts today for the control arms.
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had to leave some room for the arm to pivot and the grease zerk.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:37 PM   #34
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Those look great. Did you use a metal brake for those or is it a square tube?
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:09 PM   #35
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

thanks! it's 3"x3" square tube. theyre 6" long each. i sliced them down the middle and at 1/2", then flipped the drop over and welded it in. when i tack them in the car it will be more apparant to why the notch.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:07 AM   #36
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

First off, great job on the fabrication.

My only question is, why do you need to tub and narrow the car? How fast are you going?

We've got guys on the forum in the low 9s, high 8s in the1/4 and are not tubbed.

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Old 07-25-2016, 11:08 AM   #37
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

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First off, great job on the fabrication.

My only question is, why do you need to tub and narrow the car? How fast are you going?

We've got guys on the forum in the low 9s, high 8s in the1/4 and are not tubbed.

-- Joe
thank you.
thats a good question. i eventually would like to put more power into the car. never could get good traction, til i tried these tires. i just dont like them sticking out. also i do like the "old school" pro street look.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:43 AM   #38
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Plus good practice before doing it to a 9"
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:50 PM   #39
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

got my brackets tacked in place. i must admit it wasnt fun. a foot pedal or on/off button would be nice. but its coming along a little at a time.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #40
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Great progress and fun to watch!
Can you not use a 3/32nd stick and arc it?


I have been doing some work on mine and don't have a MIG but find the stick is working well. I used to be a boilermaker/welder and still have a feel for it even not welding for 10+ years.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:55 PM   #41
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Welding on your back I think mig would be much easier than tig or stick. Do you only have tig?
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:35 AM   #42
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

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Welding on your back I think mig would be much easier than tig or stick. Do you only have tig?
Stick is easier to get into tight places. Either way I don't like welding up-side-down.

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Old 07-28-2016, 08:52 AM   #43
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

i do have a stick and flux core mig. i think i'm going to have to go one of those routes, especially in some of the hard the reach spots.
i've been busy with work and havent had any time to mess with it lately.

found another pic from the other day.
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if you look above the weld in this pic, you can see where i used a hole saw to cut about a 1 3/8" hole so that i can tighten the control arm nut/bolt.

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Old 07-29-2016, 05:10 AM   #44
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

with all of your welding skills, have you starting doing any welding on the side for members?

I might have a torque arm mount that needs to be welded to an 8.8 ford center section....
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:20 PM   #45
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

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with all of your welding skills, have you starting doing any welding on the side for members?

I might have a torque arm mount that needs to be welded to an 8.8 ford center section....

sure, no problem Jason. that's all i do is odd welding and mechanic work for myself. i'm kinda far from you though. i'm north of st. pete area. i used to live in north ft. meyers. shoot me a PM and i'll give you my number.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:54 PM   #46
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

after days of rain and work, i finally got back on the project today. started looking at where the shocks need to be re-located, marked it out and got most of it cut out before it rained again, uhhggg. i plan on slicing a piece of pipe in 1/2 to fill the gap in the frame, etc., and of course beefing up the area.
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hope to get more done this weekend if the weather cooperates.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:09 PM   #47
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

Would it be possible to move the shock mount on the axle? You should have plenty of room to use the stock body side mount with that size wheel/tire
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:11 PM   #48
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

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Would it be possible to move the shock mount on the axle? You should have plenty of room to use the stock body side mount with that size wheel/tire
I'm using coilovers in the stock location with 335/30/18 tires on a 12" wheels and have room still.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:49 PM   #49
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

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I'm using coilovers in the stock location with 335/30/18 tires on a 12" wheels and have room still.

do you have a link or a few pics? when i had my wheels/tires on, i could barely fit a finger between the control arm and tire. i'm always open to new ideas or ways of doing things.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:53 PM   #50
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Re: sticking neck out/poor man's tub & narrow

one thing i'm really trying to do is keep the factory gas tank. (super low budget build). so far it looks like its probably going to fit.
took some measurements and painted the ground where the shock should be, and used a piece of 3" pipe to simulate the angle.
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made a template earlier for a plate that i plan on welding to the top of a piece of 4" pipe sliced in half. but heres the mess im at right now, lol.
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pic from the inside.
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