Widening the front end

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Widening the front end

Postby Taffy25 [OP] » June 30th 2010, 1:06am

Ok wasnt sure where to put this, my new rear axel is gonna be about 1 and a half foot wider than the stock one, anyone got any ideas on widening the front end apart from finding some monster wheels with the dish all inwards, im kinda stumped.


Thanks in advance, Taff
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby timelessbeing » June 30th 2010, 1:18am

I would put it in "Wheels" or "Drivetrain".

A foot and a half??? Was that intentional? Have fun parking and staying in your lane. In my city I think you'd get pulled over pretty quick.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby astroturf » June 30th 2010, 2:04am

Two Choices here. Shorten the new rear axle, or SAS the Front.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby $uperJoe » June 30th 2010, 2:11am

i would recommend looking into the hubs and spindles from the front a dual rear wheel truck. they have a hub adapter that lets the front use the same wheels as the rear. then when you put a stock looking wheel on the front it will stick out almost 4 inches per side
Don't explain it poorly 5 times. Take the 15 seconds to go out and take a picture of it!!
Please do not confuse idle conversation with technical advise


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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Gary » June 30th 2010, 2:34am

Taffy25 wrote:Ok wasnt sure where to put this, my new rear axel is gonna be about 1 and a half foot wider than the stock one, anyone got any ideas on widening the front end apart from finding some monster wheels with the dish all inwards, im kinda stumped.


Thanks in advance, Taff


Taffy-you got me really confused on this one.The off-set on these vans is the limiting factor.I want to know more about your new rear end and if you have thought this threw.Could you please fill in the blanks. :confused:
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Taffy25 [OP] » June 30th 2010, 5:20am

probally shoulda worded it better, its a dual wheel rear axel from a 3 and a half ton van, were also using the prop, engine and gearbox and maybe the springs and hangers.

The rear axel itself isnt a foot and a half longer , but with the wheels on its just under (soz for the confusion)

Aslong as the arch covers the wheel its perfectly legal in my country, so ill make some, not really sure why parking and staying in my lane would be a problem, most lanes are about 2-3 foot wider than the van as it is, if you cant drive in that you dont belong on the road.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Taffy25 [OP] » June 30th 2010, 5:22am

$uperJoe wrote:i would recommend looking into the hubs and spindles from the front a dual rear wheel truck. they have a hub adapter that lets the front use the same wheels as the rear. then when you put a stock looking wheel on the front it will stick out almost 4 inches per side


Il have a look at me dads today see what we can come up with, cheers joe.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby timelessbeing » June 30th 2010, 6:30am

You're lucky because we have some narrow lanes (E12th, Vancouver) and parking spaces that my van just fits in, but I did think you meant without wheels.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Gary » June 30th 2010, 10:37am

Taffy25 wrote:probally shoulda worded it better, its a dual wheel rear axel from a 3 and a half ton van, were also using the prop, engine and gearbox and maybe the springs and hangers.

The rear axel itself isnt a foot and a half longer , but with the wheels on its just under (soz for the confusion)

Aslong as the arch covers the wheel its perfectly legal in my country, so ill make some, not really sure why parking and staying in my lane would be a problem, most lanes are about 2-3 foot wider than the van as it is, if you cant drive in that you dont belong on the road.



Ok-but I still go back to what I said.These Astros have a offset all of their own.What I mean by offset is the measurement from the rear end pinion center to the outside of the left and right side where the pinion is on center to the transmission output.Very few production rear ends are on center which means that if you weld the attaching points to another rear end as the Astro's are,one side will stick out a lot farther than the other or be too short etc.GM built Astro's driveline so the driver's side had more foot area on the driver's side.The whole driveline.(engine,transmission,rear end)Without cutting up the van and building a whole new frame,it because of the engine/transmission position doesn't leave any possibilities of another rear end that doesn't have the same rear end offset.The other way to do it is to have a custom built rear end with the same offset as the Astro's with custom built axles or as the only other rear end found to have the same offset as Astro's which total is a 1/2 wider is the early Ford econoline van 9" rear ends.

It was a discussion in another thread that you can have a rear end where the center line isn't in a straight line with the transmission as long as the pinion angle and the transmission angle are the same.Remember the gas tank gets in the way of that.You have to account for the torque being applied to the pinion so when that happens it becomes the same angle as the transmission angle by putting in shims in the spring mounts.For this old dog here,I like to have it on the same straight line to make it much simpler and I do think that would create vibs and premature u-joint wear.Some don't agree with that thought and I have to be fair in making you aware of it.

Bottom line is I want to know how are you going to mount a dual rear wheel rear end from a full size van under a Astro without the same offset as a Astro given what I have posted above. :confused:

BTW:I am not trying to rain on anyones parade here.I am trying to help out and not have this O/P get part of the way threw this swap and go oh :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Oh yeah-one last thing.Let's say for discussion you saw a picture of a Astro with dual rear wheels.Never let that influence you to do the swap.It doesn't account to the pitfalls they have encounter or the trade-offs they made.Example of that is the duel rear end has 4.56(or more) rear end city gears and won't go over 55mph or it has real bad vibrations over 30 mph and they never figured that out.Just looks cool.It's you and you only that engineered your swap and the end result of that.When you go off and design a one of the kind,it's only you alone to create solutions.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Outlaw50 » June 30th 2010, 1:51pm

:text-worthless: .............I'm just sayin'
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby LEVE » June 30th 2010, 2:52pm

OK, let's pretend for a moment.

Let's pretend you find those big meats and install them on the van. Have you consulted State laws? Some states won't let you put anything that sticks out from the fenders... some States let the tires stick out only 2"... it's a crap shoot. Consult your local laws.

OK, now let's pretend that your laws will let you put aircraft tires on that van if you want with no problems. You can sling rocks and mud till hell freezes over.... and they don't care.

You've now increased the size of the footprint on the road. That's going to put HUGE forces on the front end components (of course we're pretending here that the backspacing and offset is still correct). How are you going to turn those meats right and left with the puny little girlie-man GM power steering components without upgrading them? It's not fun having parts bend or break at 75mph on the freeway with cars all around you. :layrubber:

But it's your dream, and you're money. Enjoy both.
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Dirk » June 30th 2010, 6:35pm

Taffy lives in the UK if remember correct.
In the UK pretty much anything goes, think about the Vauxhall Victor with 2200 bhp and still road legal ;)
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Re: Widening the front end

Postby Taffy25 [OP] » June 30th 2010, 9:09pm

Yeah im from the uk, and yeah dirk frosts victor is a monster, 0-60 in 1 second and a 8 second quarter mile and completely road legal.

Gary yeah we had already thought about it, were still not sure wether or not to use the 3 piece prop and see how it works out or to just put everything in a straight line, its the only thing that held us back today.

Leve, yeah its perfectly legal aslong as the top of the arch covers the tire, i could put super singles from a truck on legally if i made arches to cover them, still not sure what were doing with the front end though and you do make a good point
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