Lazy Rat Rod Build Part 5 Front axle

Rat Rods Hot Rods & Drag Cars Forums LAZY’S RAT ROD BUILD Lazy Rat Rod Build Part 5 Front axle

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lazy 3 years, 4 months ago.

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July 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm #396


Rat Rod  Build Part  5…..The front axle

Trying to find a cheap way of fitting a drop tube axle or something similar proved to be extremely hard.

Priced up a drop tube with spindles, brakes and discs came to over £1500, as my budget for the whole build was only £1000, I needed to start thinking of another option. If I lived in the states it would be easy, loads of solid beam axles every where. Maybe a solid beam axle that is mounted via leaf springs on pads.Looking on the old tinter net I came across a complete front axle off a LDV van, it had the discs, calipers and even a pair of shocks. As a bonus it had 6 studs wheel fitting, same as the cab.It had the chunky industrial look I was looking for, it looked much wider than I needed. It would need to be shortened.

Below the unit I purchased for £135, had to collect it 65 miles away.

Firstly it was stripped down to the bare axle and spindles. Anti roll bar, shocks were removed and put in a safe place maybe for use later. For no particular reason I decided to make the width of the axle the same as the original independent unit, and matching the rear axle.

After a bit of measuring it was clear that approx. 10″ needed to be cut out. As the axle had spring pads, I made up a jig from a section of channel and two pads with four holes in to match the spring pads. The distance between the pads was calculated with the section removed. The 10″ was cut out of the middle, that cast steel is some tough s**t to cut. Once cut, the jig was bolted on.

As you can see from above the axle  is now welded. It was prepped prior to welding, and the correct welding rods were used, I asked a welder what rods to use . Can not remember what rods they were but if any one needs them I will ask him again.

The axle looks great with the 10″ cut out, a nice looking V. To make sure the axle didn’t come apart the inserts were filled in with a plate and welded. Pictures below tell the story.

With a very shaky hand the plasma cutter was used to cut out the plate for both sides.

As belt and braces, using the four holes as you can see above I made a “V” shaped plate and bolted through the four holes.


Part 6 to follow…..mounting the axle




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July 5, 2015 at 11:04 pm #414


Looking good Lazy, Rat taking shape really enjoying your build – out of interest what shocks and springs are you going to use for the front axle?
Cheers Gaz

July 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm #444


Hi, thanks for your interest.Thought I would go for the coil over shock route, as I purchased a pair at the Essex swop meet.
But they wouldn’t look much like a rod, more like a kit car, best I use them for the rear.
Going to use a transverse leaf spring off a trailer and the original shocks that came with the axle.


July 7, 2015 at 11:36 pm #451


Lazy there seems to be a big trend in the rat rod scene to use a air bag set up and sit the body as low as possible are you planning on following the trend?

July 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm #482


As I am building my Rat on a very tight budget of £1000, air bags unfortunately are out of the question for this Rat.Yep they look great and sit the Rat on the ground, maybe on my next build I will use them. In the mean time its best to start collecting air bags when they come available on the auction sites.


July 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm #568

Eric the man

When is part 6 on line?


July 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm #578


Will be published in a couple of days, around the 17th July.


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