Friday’s Dropped Axles

I discussed Memorial Day on in Monday’s blog, but would like to mention the special occasion again. I am truly proud to have served in the US Army and did my part of keeping American safe. I won’t get into today’s problems as this is a car site, but I am fully supportive of “Those who served and those who gave all” to keep America a strong nation. While having that cold one, take time to look up and say “Thanks!”

I have been working on a dropped axle for the roadster project for too long. I finally decided to call Greg at Anson’s Dropped Axles and ask a few questions. I have a real nice 34 axle that needs dropped and some holes added (I like holes in things). I was wondering if I should have it dropped first or drill the holes first. Distortion occurs in both processes so I needed an expert’s advice. He is very busy man these days with dropping old Ford axles, which was surprising to me. He recommended dropping the axle first and then adding the holes. He also offers this service but I have always drilled my own and choose to do this one. The cost is more than purchasing a CE or SO-CAL forged unit so, therein lies the decision making process. I have used CE’s version of the Deuce “Heavy Axle” for many years and always liked them. I never tried the SO-CAL units but they have the look I like and have a good reputation in the market place. My final decision was to drop the 34 and purchase the SO-CAL unit. I would have the 34 unit to hang in the garage to display for my logo.

I still can’t believe how many dropped axles are still being sold by SuperBell, CE, Magnum and SO-CAL. Us old guys driving our Deuces and Forties, still like the axle concept, but on the Forties, the IFS is the way to go for the road trips (I can’t believe I said that). If fact, if you have ever ridden in a Boyd, TCI or Kugel equipped Deuce you would like it — but maybe not the looks. Walt has one of each in his collection of roadsters. The Boyd roadster with front and rear independent suspension rides excellent. I know as I have driven the car a time or two. Rich has a Kugel front and rear on his roadster which he claims rides super. He had a CSR roadster with a straight front axle which rode O.K. but nothing like the Kugel. I think the demand keeps high as the young people seem to have joined the trend of building old style Hot Rods — plus we who grew up with a dropped axle Hot Rod make up the demand side of the equation. I like that trend. Keep in mind that as teenagers we simply drove our Hot Rods around town and very seldom on long trips, as many do today. Our local builder has not installed a dropped axle in many years and mentioned at breakfast this morning that he may buy a Brookville roadster. He wants to build himself a hiboy with a dropped axle. Have you heard that before? — I rest my case!

The Bay Area Roadsters are having fun on the Coast this weekend and Santa Maria has the Customs on display. We are rocking in California!

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.

Stay Tooned!


Click on Photos for a larger view


Early ads for dropped axles were common. Note prices.


Some perfect examples of a Deuce axle with the stock spindle and steering arm. Lil’John liked this look.

axle 7

Here is an early dropped axle with filled ends. I never liked this look but was done to hide the stretched ends.


Magnum was the first to offer a 5″ dropped I-beam axle with a  shock mount.


Super Bell offered a 5 1/2″ dropped tube axle in the late 70’s which I loved and still have one in inventory. Jim Ewing and Dave Enmark were the pioneers in this venture.


Super Bell/Pete & Jakes offered a forged Aluminum axle.


Here are the dies used to make them.


Love the smooth inset in a correctly dropped axle.


Note this dropping jig and the heat used for the process.


The result is a beautiful dropped axle.

32 D&D Axle H

A 34 Axle dropped and drilled for a $150 on the HAMB. I missed it.


SO-CAL’s offering of forged dropped axles.


Drilled on your table with a MAG drill. (HAMB)


CE axle with a Ford pickup box — the standard for a traditional chassis.


Walt has his Boyd roadster with the independent chassis for an 80-90’s look.


Here is a close up of the front end. Early steering arms were a problem on this design. Oh too thin!

1932 ford hiboy tom's 003 (3)

Walt’s original Deuce has the traditional style dropped axle and rides decent.


Rich has two roadsters a Dearborn Deuce and Speed 33 with the Kugel suspension for a more modern look and super ride.


I went with the CE dropped and drilled axle on my 33 roadster — Lucy.


I built three of these “Lobeck” wannabes in the 70’s. Barry loved the painted tube axle and four-bars.


A photo I took when Barry debuted his roadster in Columbus. He started the “Ohio Look” and built a successful business. He left us too soon.

This is what a Hot Rod is for — especially a Brizio Built roadster!


Have Fun Debra and Michael!!

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